• Tamar Chalker

How the Martian is Faring in Tampa

It felt like it took a while for Jasson Dominguez to arrive stateside, and when he finally did it was in the midst of a pandemic, which had to make for an even stranger experience for the Dominican teenager. Yet, as 2022 progresses and we finally see more and more of the young phenom, it is easy to see why the Yankees were excited to snap him up.

Dominguez is one of those players who has entered the Yankees' farm system already with a massive legend attached. Add the other-worldly nickname and the non-stop chatter about a toolsy outfielder who would blow everyone away once we saw him, and it isn't a surprise that he wasn't able to live up to those standards in his first stint in the US last season. He's probably one of the most exciting and talked about prospects that the Yankees have had since Jesus Montero - and we know how that turned out.

Still, Dominguez is not Montero by any means, and while his ranking in various prospect lists has slipped some, there is no doubt that he is a far more complete player. There were always caveats to Montero and a lot of the other big prospect names for the Yankees over the years, but the holes in their game were clear. Dominguez has few weak points and seems to be getting stronger.

The Martian is hitting .272/.348/.456 after 40 games in Tampa this season. His wOBA is .371 and his wRC+ sits at 131. He has already hit five homers, which is all he had in 49 games in 2021. Dominguez has also scored more runs (30), picked up more RBIs (22), and hit more doubles (12). He also has 7 stolen bases, getting picked off just twice.

As is usual for a player at this stage, Dominguez needs to work on getting his walk rate up and his strike rate down, but there are some improvements there. In fact, in the last four games of May, Dominguez drew six walks. In one case, his walks were the Tarpons' only base runners in a game where they were held to a combined no-hitter.

After really struggling for the first 20 games of the season, Dominguez has turned things around and really looks like he's coming into his own. Manager Rachel Balkovec has long praised the young player for how hard he works, but she says he has made some small mindset adjustments and focused even more on improving his game. He is still just a little over 19 and has plenty to learn, but it looks like his dedication and focus are paying off.

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