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An early take on The Martian after two weeks in Tampa

Jasson Dominguez (Photo by John Brophy / Pinstriped Prospects)

Jasson Dominguez has been in Low-A Tampa for about 2 weeks now, and has been in playing in the states for exactly a month now, so no actual reporter should have a good take on his capabilities yet. The kid is still extremely early in his career, being only 18, so there’s a lot of development, maturity and playing abilities that can change in the coming years. I went to Dominguez’s home debut at the Yankees’ Player Development and Scouting Complex in Tampa on June 29th and wasn’t entirely impressed with what I saw. That still resonates today, but allow me to explain why later.

I honestly really feel for the kid with all of the attention he’s getting. Sometimes he seems to enjoy it like what he experienced during All-Star Weekend and at the Futures Game in Denver. At George M. Steinbrenner Field, the home of the Low-A Tampa Tarpons, he seems to try to shut out the daily clamoring of autographs and people yelling his name and other things in varied languages just to focus on the game. Manager David Adams has enforced a no autograph rule throughout the duration of the season so far, and especially even more so now that they have players on the COVID list that seem to be continuing to be added weekly as it spreads throughout the Tampa Bay area.

 

 

Let’s go through a normal gameday routine as seen by the fans (media is still not allowed to be “behind the scenes” with the team per COVID restrictions). The team usually comes out for warmups a half hour prior to the game, but the starting pitcher and catcher warm up a few minutes before the rest of the team does. Typical stretching and warmup things every baseball team I’ve seen do. Things wrap up just before the game starts, but there is what looks like a prayer huddle of a couple guys that I’ve noticed has gotten larger over time. Guys like Juan De Leon, Aldenis Sanchez, and Jasson Dominguez join their daily pre-game huddle where they’re down on one knee and grouped together.

Dominguez has been leading off in the games that he’s played in. Dominguez went 2-for-4 in his debut game with the Tarpons, getting his first Low-A hit as an RBI double in the 3rd inning. After 10 games with the Tarpons, Dominguez is batting 12-for-40 (.300), with .378 OBP, .475 SLG and .853 OPS. Not bad for your first two weeks. I noted a month ago when I saw the FCL Yankees’ home opener that Dominguez had good plate discipline, but he doesn’t show that as much now. That may be a developmental thing where they’re trying to get him to hit, or it could be the pressure of the fans to make consistent contact, but Dominguez whiffs a bit more than I remember seeing. Nothing wrong with that, of course, but Dominguez seems to go after high pitches more often than others.

Now, let’s go through my own scouting analysis. Keep in mind that I’m nowhere near being a professional scout, and these are just my thoughts after seeing about 10 games worth of play.

HIT 60, POWER 55, RUN 50, ARM 45, FIELD 50, OVERALL 50

Jasson Dominguez (Photo by John Brophy / Pinstriped Prospects)

Let me explain this.

RUN: Jasson has a good ability to hit into a gap with a shift going, which is something sorely lacking within the Yankees. He has the power to go deep, but isn’t as fast as people make him out to be. Yes, he scored a triple in his debut week, but that was on a ball that went 315 ft to right field. Very un-scientifically, I timed Dominguez using the video I recorded and my phone. He went from home to third, including the botched slide, in just short of 11 seconds. Home to first in about 4 seconds. Yeah, that’s quick, but Baseball Savant has Jorge Mateo being slower than Jasson. Mateo definitely looked a lot faster than Dominguez does when he was in Tampa. I think part of that is Dominguez’s build. If you look at the Tarpons’ quickest guy (who has to be Evan Alexander) and Dominguez, Dominguez is solid like a tree-logger and Alexander is thin and fit… and not anywhere as insanely muscular as Dominguez.

Jasson Dominguez (Photo by John Brophy / Pinstriped Prospects)

ARM/FIELD: I haven’t had enough of an opportunity to see Dominguez’s arm or his accuracy (he’s been DH a lot with the amount of OF the Tarpons have), but it’s par for the course from what I’ve seen so far. Not all-star quality like I’ve seen rumblings of, but not awful either. No outfielder has really impressed me with their arm on any team in this level yet. I’ve seen Dominguez rush to get a ball in to home plate from the outfield to prevent a potential run from scoring, but it one-bounced by the mound, died in the grass and didn’t get there in time, allowing the run to score. I would imagine that’s something that can be worked on over the next few weeks and months.

Jasson Dominguez (Photo by John Brophy / Pinstriped Prospects)

HIT/POWER: As I was alluding to earlier, and as most Yankees fans are aware, if there’s one thing Jasson can do, it’s hit for power. His sole home run came on July 16th, where he hit one into the right field bar seating area, about two rows back. Not the quickest I’ve seen a ball go out, but it went out either way.

Jasson Dominguez’s first pro home run StatCast data (Courtesy MLB)

Domingue has hit a few screamers, including a 110 MPH line-drive single to right on July 18th. Unfortunately for excited Yankees fans, I’m just not seeing a lot of those, though. He’s been striking out or walking a lot, which happens a lot at this level… or any level really I suppose.

Is The Martian everything he’s hyped up to be? I don’t know yet. I’m not confident he’s worthy of the “best Yankee ever” status he’s hyped up for right now, but only time will tell as he matures a bit more and grows into the sport. Dominguez is definitely a few years away from making the Majors, and I think he will make it. What I’m unsure on is whether or not it will be with the Yankees. I don’t think he’s entirely as untouchable as he’s said to be, for the right player.

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