It’s safe to say that Jasson Dominguez’s first year of professional baseball, culminating with a stint in the full-season, Low-A Florida State League with Rachel Balkovec’s Tampa Tarpons, didn’t exactly answer a lot of Yankees fans’ questions about him.
Nor did it clear up any of the inherent mystery surrounding the teenager who was supposed to be a Mike Trout/Bo Jackson hybrid.
Dominguez got his moment in the sun at the 2021 Futures Game, due in large part to his fame and not his on-field performance, stroking a hard liner to left but not really standing out.
On the field, he entered a no-win situation and responded by triple-slashing .252/.353/.379 with five homers in 56 games. Without an immediate “superstar flash,” a lot of people were left wondering if we’d overrated Dominguez’s potential. Wisened fans already knew we had done that (what even is a Mike Trout/Bo Jackson hybrid?!), but still believed there was a superstar in his skin, and his stateside debut wouldn’t matter much in the long run.
Turning 19 in a few weeks, Dominguez will likely play a more complete campaign in 2022, tackling full-season ball from the start and hopefully moving north to High-A Hudson Valley after some discernible progress.
He’ll be bringing a new swing along with him, which appears to be more finely tuned for attacking strikes, and less prone to the “two true outcomes” of “home run or strikeout.”
Yankees superstar prospect Jasson Dominguez has a new swing.
Again, it’s embarrassing and reductive to call Dominguez’s 2021 a “disappointment”; mostly, it’s just shame on us for buying what we were sold and expecting Juan Soto from Day 1 (and even his development wasn’t linear).
Still, though, it’s helpful to see him working to correct flaws between his first and second years, and any adjustment he can make to maintain his power while minimizing swings and misses will help him become more of a menace in the long run.
We don’t want to sacrifice power for singles or demonize strikeouts to neuter his approach, but Dominguez’s new prep seems to create the best of both worlds.
I mean, if you thought he could no longer hit rockets, just take a look at this:
Don’t expect any more fawning Dominguez columns comparing The Martian to the game’s greats until we actually see him on the field putting up the numbers that were foretold.
Honestly, though, slowing down the hype train seems like a good thing, and Dominguez has clearly been working to get better during the quiet months.