The New York Yankees have seen some significant shifts in their farm system over the past year, and are ironically shortstop-heavy entering the ultimate winter shortstop-palooza (though that shouldn’t prevent them from doing what needs to be done).
The clearest indicator of this seismic shift in the prospect landscape? The ever-so-slight plummet of center fielder Jasson Dominguez in Baseball America’s latest rankings (subscription required), even though he has just one half of a professional season under his belt.
Is Dominguez’s ceiling already being lowered? Well … probably slightly. The Mike Trout expectations were always a bit much, and it no longer seems possible that he’ll bust the door down, Juan Soto-style, in 2022 after he hit .252 with five bombs in 206 Low-A at-bats.
However, the list should also tell you that Anthony Volpe is an elite prospect, as is Oswald Peraza, who seems to get dinged in the national media spotlight a little bit.
Is it possible the Yankees have not one, but two top-tier shortstop prospects (plus Trey Sweeney), and that’s what we should take away from this list more so than Dominguez’s slight stature change?
Probably! Excited for a full year of Dominguez, too, who can start doing the whole “nobody believes in us” thing.
Jasson Dominguez is no longer a top two Yankees prospect.
This may indicate Dominguez losing a smidge of his prospect shine, but, more importantly, it seems to denote exactly how high Peraza has risen. It also exemplifies just how hilarious it is that rival fans seem to regard Peraza headlining potential Matt Olson/Chris Bassitt/What Have You trades as laughable/entering “Frazier and Andújar” territory. Uh … nope! A smidge behind Anthony Volpe, at the tippy top of the Yankees’ top prospect ladder, folks. Not sure what to tell you there.
And — and — don’t let the haters tell you this is a weak group. Lots of people seem to be circulating the Yankees’ 2012 top prospects list this week as some sort of “gotcha,” and to that I say … got me about what? That was a universally reviled crew. Nobody thought the Yanks’ farm was anything special back in ’12, and it wasn’t.
This year, it’s a whole new ballgame. Hell, this top 10 doesn’t even include breakout Everson Pereira (20 bombs in 188 ABs at age 20), helium alert Elijah Dunham (the AFL’s hottest hitter), or 17-year-old Roderick Arias, this year’s top international prospect who’s about to sign on the dotted line.
And how about that love for Hayden Wesneski, too?! This future lineup still includes Volpe, Peraza and Dominguez, because BA can’t assume any trades, but it’s still nice to see everybody slotted in there — even if DJ LeMahieu is inexplicably playing first base in this simulation, while Joey Gallo’s been extended.
All in all, change at the top is not a bad thing. It increases the chances the Yankees pull off a mega-trade this offseason with a shortstop involved, and should motivate Dominguez now that the slightest amount of shine’s been taken off.