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BRIDGEWATER — From earlier than the time he might even stroll, Jasson Dominguez remembers baseball being part of his life below the steering of his father.
So it solely is sensible — as a lot sense as it will probably make for a participant of his stature — that Dominguez was mature sufficient to be in comparison with Mickey Mantle and Bo Jackson when he signed with the Yankees for a whopping $5.1 million as a 16-year-old.
“It’s obviously exciting to be mentioned among these greats that I’ve been compared to, but I don’t focus too much on it,” Dominguez mentioned this week at TD Financial institution Ballpark via translator Sergio Santos in his first public feedback since being promoted to Double-A. “It’s a nice comparison to have and it’s good to have, but I don’t want to be them. I want to be myself. I want to be Jasson Dominguez and play my best baseball.”
Dominguez, nonetheless solely 19 years outdated and in simply his second professional season, is starting to rocket via the Yankees’ system. In truth, it has hardly been a 12 months as a result of he didn’t even be part of an affiliate till the top of June final 12 months. But the Dominican landed at Low-A Tampa after solely two weeks, moved as much as Excessive-A Hudson Valley this July and is already in Somerset.
Oh, and the five-tool phenom has twice been chosen to play within the All-Star Futures Recreation, which showcases the very best prospects in all of MLB.
“I was super excited. I didn’t know if I was coming or not, but definitely happy that it happened,” Dominguez mentioned of being promoted on Tuesday. “The expectations are always going to be there. Now that I’m in Double-A, I know I’m a step closer, but I’m not going to try to change and do anything different just because I am. I’m going to continue to go out, have my routine and play baseball.”
A switch-hitting outfielder with each on either side plus pace, defensive vary and arm energy, Dominguez is at the moment ranked because the Yankees’ No. 2 prospect behind shortstop Anthony Volpe and is the No. 42 prospect total, based on MLB Pipeline.
Not too shabby for somebody who remains to be an adolescent. His friends repeatedly rave about his superior instruments, in addition to how he defies his youth with poise and confidence off the sphere.
“He’s definitely something special,” first baseman Tyler Hardman mentioned. “His knowledge of the game is growing. He uses his tools very, very well. He knows when to turn his speed on and when what he’s doing is just enough. Just from Tampa to Hudson Valley I’ve seen him improve, so I think really the sky is the limit.”
“We’re going to take things one day at a time, but to see him at 19 years old at this level already and to see all the raw tools, I mean, the ceiling is so high for him,” supervisor Dan Fiorito added. “He’s really impressive.”
Hardman, a 23-year-old who earned a promotion concurrently Dominguez and is now his roommate, says Dominguez serves as a each day reminder of learn how to not take the sport too significantly. Away from the diamond, they’ve online game competitions to remain unfastened. Once they return to the sphere, he by no means backs down from the highlight.
“He’s definitely more mature than people think for his age,” Hardman mentioned. “He’s never afraid to talk to anybody or shy away from any attention. He definitely holds his own very well.”
Dominguez possesses an imposing physique — a muscular 190 kilos at 5-foot-10 — and is productive on the sphere, Fiorito says, with expertise similar to barrel accuracy, supreme command of the strike zone, reads within the outfield that enable his pace to play and studying pitchers on the bottom paths.
Dominguez was hitless in two video games with Somerset coming into Friday’s motion, however in 432 at-bats this season previous to the promotion, he batted .280/.382/.465 with 15 house runs, 23 doubles, six triples and 36 stolen bases in 43 makes an attempt.
He additionally reduce down on his strikeouts in Excessive-A (18.5 p.c charge) and walked at a 12.5 p.c charge whereas persistently posting excessive exit velocities on batted balls.
“I feel like I’ve improved in every area, but where I feel like I’ve made the biggest improvement is my pitch zone recognition where I feel like I’m now swinging at better pitches,” Dominguez mentioned.
Nicknamed ‘The Martian’ for his otherworldly expertise, Dominguez is Somerset’s new leadoff hitter because the Patriots push for an Jap League championship within the last two weeks of the season. He says he loves playoff moments, so it may very well be a small style of what’s to come back in the future within the Bronx.
“Obviously I haven’t been with another organization, but I’ve heard the tales of the Yankees. It’s world renowned and so I was super excited and fortunate that I was able to be signed by the Yankees,” Dominguez mentioned. “Definitely it’s going to help me out for next year. I’m getting my feet wet so when I come back next year, there’s nothing really new. I do love the area, it’s great. I’ve always got family that’s close by.”
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