Even several years after his stateside arrival, uber-talented Yankees prospect Jasson Dominguez remains somewhat of a mystery at 20 years old.
Some prospect lists have knocked him down several pegs in their midseason assessments, and on the surface, that makes some sense. He was below .200 at Double-A for a good portion of the season, alternating strikeouts and walks with stunning regularity. For someone who was promised to be the next Mike Trout/Bo Jackson hybrid, it was understandably disappointing, and surely some analysts were sick of hearing about the tools, preferring to discuss how they didn't seem to translate consistency.
Other assessors maintained the status quo with Dominguez's ranking, mostly due to his age and standout 2022 season, where he triple-slashed .273/.375/.461 as a 19-year-old making his full-season debut. Most of the high men on Dominguez have been rewarded this summer, as he's leveled up significantly at Somerset, hitting .333 with an .866 OPS in the month of August.
Consider MLB Pipeline's Jim Callis still "perplexed," though. In response to a reader question about whether Dominguez might start on Opening Day in the Bronx, Callis preached continued caution about rushing the outfielder and blunting his momentum, fueled mostly by the Jekyll and Hyde campaign he's seen from the prospect this year.
Yankees prospect Jasson Dominguez won't start Opening Day 2024 (and shouldn't)
"I'm honestly perplexed by Jasson Dominguez," Callis responded, which is a tough place to start. "On one hand, he's 20 years old in Double-A. He's on nearly a 20-homer, 50-steal pace. He's also hitting .240 and on pace to strike out 150 times. He's got a chance for solid tools across the board, but he'll veer between being too passive and too aggressive. I've seen him look good and not look good in the outfield."
"I don't think he can be the starting left fielder -- certainly not on Opening Day, if that's what the question is, for the Yankees in 2024," he continued, hammering home what was likely an obvious conclusion, but something that still needed to be reiterated to desperate Yankee fans in need of a reminder. "Perhaps by the end of the year? But I think...what he really needs, more than anything, is just let him develop at his own pace. He's been moved pretty aggressively, very hyped...he needs time to develop. Realistically, I say no, I wouldn't count on Jasson Dominguez in New York in 2024."
Brian Cashman talked about Dominguez's chances to join the Yankees this year during Wednesday's presser after the top prospect's promotion to Triple-A and had this to say:
It's been so difficult for fans to stay patient with Dominguez that it often gets lost in the shuffle that any outsider would say he's been promoted pretty aggressively. His first year of full-season ball spanned three levels. He needed three months (and last season's playoffs) to get his bearings at Double-A before reaching baseline levels of competence.
Dominguez getting his feet wet at Triple-A would be a welcome end to 2023, but probably won't occur before Opening Day next season. That's also ... completely fine, and would set him up to make his MLB debut at the age of 22 if he keeps harnessing his ridiculous hit tool and speed while moving past judgmental lapses and 20-year-old problems.