The scout who started the month by claiming Yankees jewel Jasson Dominguez looks “worse” repeating Low-A Tampa than he did the first time around should probably check back in on The Martian’s progress.
We’re not questioning his instincts or what he thought he saw in April. We’d just love an update. Is Dominguez getting “lucky” scorching the ball over the first three weeks of the new month, or has he turned a corner in the eyes of his top skeptic?
There is still a long way to go before thoughts of Dominguez eventually supplanting Aaron Hicks dance across your frontal cortex — and if Hicks is still the entrenched starter when Dominguez is ready ready, then something has gone horribly wrong.
The developmental path of a teenager in professional baseball is extremely unlikely to be linear, and The Martian’s month of May has shown why he’s considered in a class in the vicinity of Wander Franco despite a cold snap to begin his career.
“In the vicinity of”. They’re not the same. Franco ascended rapidly and made an MLB impact at 19, while Dominguez started his age-19 season stuck in the mud.
The underlying tools were always there amid Dominguez’s swing-and-miss streak, however, and his scorching month of May has secretly put him back on the proper path, just when you all began to ignore him.
Yankees’ Jasson Dominguez on fire in May at Low-A Tampa
In much the same way Dominguez wasn’t “done” during his April doldrums, his May hot streak does not mean he has “made it.” There’s a middle ground available for celebrating his successes without making declarative statements. There’s no need to pound a Red X button or Green Light whenever he follows a 2-for-4 with an ofer.
But Dominguez’s world-class exit velocities have begun to match his on-field production lately, highlighted by a 5-for-7 Sunday doubleheader that featured a cycle split between the two contests. For those who scrounged April’s results for a sign, Sunday served as a gleaming piece of metal buried in the sand.
In reality, though, it represented the further advance of a trend, not an inflection point. He’s been doing this for weeks, and now has an .804 OPS and .271 average on the season.
It’s not all shining and spectacular, of course. The strikeout numbers are still significantly elevated; Dominguez has struck out 25 times in 69 at-bats this month, following 25 in 71 at-bats in April. That problem has yet to turn around.
Dominguez has plenty of steps forward left to take. But his beastly month has proven there’s no reason to count him out yet, as tempting as it is for some to be the “first” to declare an overhyped prospect a disappointment.