Yankees Top 30 Prospects for 2021: Jasson Dominguez (OF, #1)
In American lore many people have said they’ve seen aliens. Unfortunately, I have yet to see any, but in a few years I am expecting to see one donning pinstripes. Jasson Dominiguez- nicknamed “El Marciano” (The Martian)- is the Yankees top prospect for good reason. At just 18-years-old, he’s set to become the Yankees next great Center Fielder as he has plus-tools across the board already. A switch hitter, Dominguez also has plus speed (and 30-30 potential) as well as a powerful arm and great baseball IQ. He won’t be in the MLB tomorrow, so let’s be patient, but if everyone else is correct he’s going to be a star.
JASSON DOMINGUEZ, OF (#1):
Age/Date of Birth: 18 Years Old (02/07/2003)
Most Recent Team(s) (Level and Year): No Professional Experience
Height/Weight: 5’10”/190 Pounds
Acquired: Signed by the New York Yankees as part of the 2019/2020 International Free Agent Class in early July, 2019.
MLB ETA: 2024
JASSON DOMINGUEZ SCOUTING GRADES (20-80 SCALE):
What to Know:
Entering the 2019/2020 International Signing period there was one name on the top of everybody’s list for who was going to be *THE* guy to get. That player, a 16-year-old out of Esperanza in the Dominican Republic, was soon to sign a $5.1 million bonus with a team to play professional baseball. That player is Jasson Dominguez who set a Yankees record for the highest signing bonus of any international amateur and who used all but $300,000 of the Yankees IFA money for 2019/2020.
However, there is not much to say statistically about Dominguez, as unfortunately he has been put into a crazy situation after signing. In 2019 he would not be able to make his professional debut and before Rookie leagues were able to start in 2020 the entirety of the minor leagues were shut down due to the COVID-19. Add in the fact that the Yankees didn’t host any fall instructional leagues (for whatever reason), Dominguez is just now, nearly 2 years from signing, looking to start his professional career.
However, as an 18-year-old, Dominguez still has plenty of time to showcase his stuff and make his moves up the minor leagues. As a top-of-the-line prospect, it is important to hedge expectations on his development before he’s shown his stuff in game. While there were some who thought that Dominguez would have made himself a contender to move up from Rookie Ball to Class-Low-A ball as a 17-year-old in 2020, there is nothing stopping him from doing so in 2021.
So far in 2021, the Yankees are doing what I believe is the right thing: giving him time to develop. Instead of trying to push the issue with a major promotion to an ongoing minor leagues (Class-Low-A or above), the Yankees have assigned Dominguez to the Dominican Summer League (Foreign Rookie) as he has been participating in Extended Spring Training.
As a hitter, Dominguez has all the tools. There is a reason he was projected to be the next Bo Jackson/Mickey Mantle/Mike Trout type baseball player. As a switch hitter this comes with even more questions about if he has a distinct handedness and yet neither side truly dominates the other because they are both great. He has a smooth swing pattern that combines with top bat speed and strength to produce a powerful approach with great contact skills. (Please Yankees, do not try and turn Jasson into a power-or-nothing type player like Aaron Judge. Let him develop into a solid hitter like a Mike Trout.) Combine in his speed and Dominguez has 30-30 (HR-SB) potential.
As a fielder, Dominguez also has all the tools. Again we’ll look to his speed (his highest rated tool at 65) which allows him to play center field and track down all the routine balls and then some. He also has a solid plus-arm that allows him to stay a dangerous threat to runners even when balls drop into play, slowing down opposing runners. He’s a long-term center fielder who should be able to easily handle the corner outfield positions in his later career.
What Will the Future Hold?
For Dominguez, as he is currently assigned to the DSL Yankees, this should also bring about expectations for where he is going to play over the course of this season. When the DSL season begins later this year (typically in early July), Dominguez will likely spend a week or two at the level before moving up to the Gulf Coast League Yankees (Rookie). If we follow the trajectory of other amateur international stars, Dominguez would spend the remainder of the season there. However, the next move up to the Tampa Tarpons (Class-Low-A) could also be coming after 2 to 4 weeks with the GCL Yankees. Ending the season for a month with the Tampa Tarpons would be a great step forward for Dominguez after a missed year of competition.
With an MLB ETA of 2024, the Yankees have more than enough time to develop Dominguez into the player (the Bo Jackson, Mickey Mantle, Mike Trout, whoever) that they and many others believe he can be. For me, I would also hold this to be his timeline for as long as the Yankees can hold it. I understand prospect fatigue will set in for Dominguez as people get tired of waiting for him. Heck, there were and are people already clamoring for him to be called up to the MLB (jokingly or not) after Aaron Hicks went down and was slated to get surgery. We need to be patient with Dominguez, for as we should all know: “Good things come to those who wait”. When Dominguez makes the MLB, he will be ready and he will be a star. I don’t want to put the superstar tag on him yet (remember: he’s yet to play a professional game), but I’m incredibly excited for his future.
BONUS FOOTAGE OF DOMINGUEZ FROM 2021:
It’s actually scary what Jasson Dominguez does to baseballs at 18 pic.twitter.com/1rpFvV8alY — The Short Porch (@short_porch) February 10, 2021
Checking in with OF Jasson Dominguez at Extended Spring Training 👽🥑 pic.twitter.com/dMD9oU7iji — NYYPlayerDev (@NYYPlayerDev) May 12, 2021
Severino facing Jasson Dominguez in live BP pic.twitter.com/CgQrkbr4hA — Erik Boland (@eboland11) May 13, 2021