The Yankees might not have a permanent left field solution entering the 2023, and have been forced to choose from a pu pu platter of Aaron Hicks, Oswaldo Cabrera, Rafael Ortega and Willie Calhoun (and Isiah Kiner-Falefa?).
That said, there could be a more solidified option en route before too long, as 20-year-old Martian Jasson Dominguez has turned the first two weeks of spring training into his personal playground.
Dominguez, still barely out of his teens and without much run above High-A, definitely will not be making the Opening Day roster. He won't be. There's no way he'll be heading north. No chance ... right? Like, it's not going to happen ... right?
The rational voice inside my head helpfully reminds me -- and will now remind all of you -- that there's still some refinement needed in Dominguez's game. He ended the 2022 season -- his first full year in the minors -- completely gassed and struggling in the Arizona Fall League. He clobbered the small-sample-size Double-A playoffs, but that came after a tough adjustment period to the level during the regular season. The Yankees have plenty of time to work out the kinks and un-blur this potentially great piece of art, but 2023 is not the year.
Of course ... the irrational voice inside my head says you're not getting this level of raw talent and power prowess from any of the other options.
Yankees top prospect Jasson Dominguez smashes game-winning home run vs Braves
The Athletic's Monday mailbag spent the correct amount of time gushing about Dominguez -- a lot of time -- following his game-winning monster shot on Sunday afternoon. He went down and dug out a low breaker, depositing it deep onto the right-field party deck, giving him a homer from each side of the plate during spring action. All told, he's hitting .417 with a .500 OBP in 14 plate appearances.
The issue isn't that Dominguez is being unfairly kept off the Opening Day roster -- he isn't. There's more seasoning to be done, and the first cold snap of his career at the big-league level could be especially damaging if it comes around too early. The problem is the Yankees can't fully be trusted to press the right button if Dominguez proves himself capable of handling both Double-A and Triple-A by late summer and needs an additional challenge -- which, based on his power and patience this month, really could happen.
At this moment, the switch-hitting stud isn't ready, and was barely ready for Double-A last fall before he ambushed Erie's pitching during a playoff rampage that warped expectations. But sometimes, it's tough to spot the tools or discern why a player is touted so highly during camp. With Dominguez? It's impossible to miss them.
Hopefully, by August or September, Dominguez has more permanently married his power potential with his keen eye and has become the Mayor of Scranton.
For now, at least we have a spectacular spring's worth of evidence that Dominguez has The Juice, though he shouldn't be in the lineup on Opening Day. Right? He definitely shouldn't ...