The Martian has landed. And unfortunately for opposing pitchers, he does not come in peace. Jasson Dominguez has launched a home run for the New York Yankees in the team's spring training opener against the Philadelphia Phillies.
Dominguez was in the starting lineup on Saturday and got the nod in center field after what was a long, successful campaign in 2022. The switch-hitting slugger found his power stroke, belting 16 homers and OPSing .837 across 120 games between Single-A, High-A and Double-A.
He also played 20 games in the Arizona Fall League, but it was evident he was fatigued after his first full season of professional action (he never played above 57 games in a season in his career).
But he ain't tired now! In his second at-bat of the game, Dominguez destroyed a solo home run from the right side of the plate off of Phillies left-hander Ben Bowden.
Out of frame. Can't see it land. And a great glimpse of the pimp job.
Jasson Domginuez homers in Yankees Spring Training opener
What a start to silence the doubters who were unreasonably all over Dominguez when his pro career got off to a slow start at the age of 18. And then again when he was 19 last year! Ridiculously unfair expectations heaped on the Dominican prospect just because somebody decided to compare him to Mike Trout.
Those of us with a more calculated approach in regard to the development of a teenage baseball player are reaping the benefits of this moment. Another plus here is that a promising spring for Dominguez could expedite his path to the bigs.
After helping the Double-A Somerset Patriots to a championship at the tail end of last season following a last-minute promotion, Dominguez delivering a strong performance among big-league players in Feb. and March might convince the Yankees to move him to Triple-A sooner rather than later. That would be relatively uncharacteristic of them because they like to take their time with their prospects, but how much more time will he need at Double-A if he makes his case now?
There will be multiple outfield needs in 2024, which is what the team should be preparing for. And maybe an end-of-season promotion when rosters expand in September isn't out of the question to give Dominguez a taste of what's to come.
If we're eating up a spring training homer on Day 1, just imagine what'll happen in the Bronx if he clears the wall at Yankee Stadium at 20 years old.