Jasson Domínguez, the “Martian,” will be making his MLB debut. The same goes for catcher Austin Wells. Their presence is part of a youth movement that has Yankees fans fired up ahead of the game and the rest of the season, even as they play out the string in a likely losing season. Both are expected to play quite a bit during this final month of 2024, and manager Aaron Boone confirmed that Wells should play “a lot” at catcher. This had been less of a certainty with Kyle Higashioka and Ben Rortvedt still on the roster as well, so that’s a good sign.
The Yanks will actually have five rookies in the lineup: Domínguez in center, Wells behind the plate (catching veteran Carlos Rodón), Anthony Volpe at his usual shortstop, Everson Pereira out in left, and Oswald Peraza at the hot corner. Here’s the full starting nine:
Note: The updated lineup in the embedded tweet accounts for Gleyber Torres being scratched due to a balky back.
This extremely rookie-focused lineup has generated some fun facts already. It will be the first time since 1969 that the Yankees will have four 23-year-old players or younger start in the same game, per MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch. At 24 years old, Wells barely missed this cut, but it’s notable nonetheless.
If Jasson Domínguez, Everson Pereira, Oswald Peraza and Anthony Volpe all start tonight, it would mark the first time the Yankees had four players 23-or-younger start in the same game since 9/18/69 vs. Washington when Ron Blomberg (21), Frank Tepedino (21), Thurman Munson (22)…— Bryan Hoch ⚾️ (@BryanHoch) September 1, 2023
Domínguez had a slow start in Double-A this season, but turned things around by posting a 117 wRC+ with 15 home runs and 37 steals, earning a promotion to Scranton. Nine games there and a 179 wRC+ were enough to convince the Yanks to bring Domínguez up to the majors, where he will be making his debut at 20 years old and 206 days. He’ll be the youngest player in franchise history since outfielder Stan Javier and pitcher José Rijo in 1984. Domínguez is an even younger 20 than 2009 World Series contributor Melky Cabrera was when he first came up with the Yankees in 2005.
Per the Yankees, it will be the 12th time in franchise history that two players will make their MLB debuts as starters in the same game. There almost certainly won’t be back-to-back theatrics like Tyler Austin and Aaron Judge flashed in their tandem debut in 2016, but we can dream, right? After all, Pereira is still seeking his first career dinger, too.
Wells’ presence is also exciting for fans. He posted a 107 wRC+ in Double-A and a 99 mark in Scranton. The opportunity to catch Rodón will also be a terrific test for him with the two mustachioed players in line to be a battery together for at least the next few years. Rodón is a familiar presence, too, as Wells caught the lefty during an earlier rehab assignment.
Bravo to the Yankees’ PR and social media teams on knowing the moment, per the tweet below.