Gone are the days of endless mid-June, "anonymously-sourced" stories regarding Yankees superstar Jasson Dominguez's haughty attitude and allergy to conditioning. We hope.
If sources like ... oh, I don't know, off the top of my head I'm gonna say Randy Miller, want to keep pontificating about how Dominguez believes himself to already be a superstar, unable to learn any more intricacies about the game of baseball, then that's his right. But according to Chris Kirschner and Brendan Kuty of The Athletic's latest musings, Dominguez's spring was exemplary in more ways than one.
Obviously, he mashed pre-demotion. That story has been well-told by now, but though the Yankees probably hoped The Martian would get his feet wet, they likely didn't have any idea he was about to club four homers in 22 at-bats with a 1.565 OPS.
Just as impressively, it turns out Dominguez was spotted picking Harrison Bader's brain most every day in an effort to get better defensively. Per Kuty, Dominguez was a "sponge" this spring.
Now, does that sound like someone who believes he's "above" soaking up knowledge to you? Nothing's lowlier than a sponge!
Yankees standout rookie Jasson Dominguez wants to learn from Harrison Bader
Despite an early-season injury in his walk year, Bader still remains the long-term favorite to occupy the Yankees' center field job. That means Dominguez is probably training to play alongside him in left field, where a gulf remains.
While Dominguez has had a more difficult row to hoe than any other Yankees prospect -- yes, even tougher than Anthony "Shortstop of the Future" Volpe -- it doesn't sound as if he's letting the Bo Jackson/Mike Trout/Mickey Mantle nonsense comparisons drag him down. Rather, he finally hit a rhythm midway through 2022 that allowed him to be his very own ballplayer, and carried that momentum powerfully into this spring.
And yes, even the greats have still got a lot to learn.