Despite largely effective results in 2022, the New York Yankees' top prospects have been through the ringer in the wake of the regular season. They've been poked, prodded and evaluated by every publication from MLB Pipeline to Baseball America to Baseball Pipeline to MLB 101: The Prospectus Chronicles, and most of the big names have come out ... relatively unscathed on the other end.
No matter what the Twitterverse wants to hear, Anthony Volpe has emerged as a consensus top-10 prospect -- and occasionally top five, thanks to the first 20 homer-50 stolen base season at the minor-league level since Andruw Jones in the mid-90s.
Beyond Volpe, though, the lists have been in conflicting disarray regarding the new Baby Bombers' futures. Oswald Peraza typically resides around the middle of the Top 100, though MLB Pipeline didn't pick him as a top-10 shortstop across the minors. Austin Wells and Everson Pereira both got knocked out of MLB Pipeline's Top 100, though Baseball America recognized Pereira. Baseball Prospectus even gave Spencer Jones some love, rocketing the Yankees' latest first-round pick into the top 60 of their groundbreaking list.
Perhaps the clearest ideological clash has emerged around Jasson Dominguez, though. He's not Mike Trout or Bo Jackson just yet, which has led to some unsavory Randy Miller columns about his effort. That said ... are we sure he should be sliding into the 50s and 60s?
Still just 19 years old, Dominguez's first full year in full-season ball featured improvement at every level, a triple-slash of .273/.375/.461, a .306 average with a .907 OPS in 40 games at High-A, and a .450 average with three bombs in five playoff games at Double-A. So what if he's no longer filling out his body? Maybe this body is ... already very good at baseball??
Keith Law of The Athletic, typically a Yankees pessimist, took great strides to calm down the anti-Dominguez hysteria this week in his own Top 100 list. He ranked Dominguez 32nd overall, and his analysis basically boiled down to, "...what more do you want?".
Yankees OF Jasson Dominguez ranks No. 32 on Keith Law's Top 100 Prospects
Law's assessment makes him the high man on Dominguez entering 2023, a season that The Martian will likely spend the bulk of at Double-A Somerset:
""The body is maxed out, but there’s also no need for him to get stronger or develop more power. I see a guy with three plus-plus tools who is the age of a college sophomore and has earned his way to Double A. What’s not to like?""- Keith Law
He'll get a chance to parlay what he uncovered during the postseason into regular-season success and, pending a major step back that evokes his underwhelming Arizona Fall League tenure, he has a chance to climb back into the top-20 conversation as the season drags on (yes, even at places like Baseball America, where he currently resides closer to the 60s).
As if Law's Dominguez positivity wasn't enough, his straightforward praise for Volpe should go a long way, too.
""I don’t know for a fact that the Yankees have sat out the free agent shortstop market because they think Volpe’s a star, but I think Volpe’s a star, so I can hardly blame them.""- Keith Law
We already know the Yankees have passed on any shortstop that might potentially block Volpe's ascent. To hear an unbiased prospect evaluator say they would've done the same thing also pays dividends.
There's a spot at shortstop ready to be grabbed long-term by either Volpe or Peraza, as well as a place at second base for the so-called "loser" to land. Keep in mind, though, that left field remains a black hole, and Harrison Bader hasn't signed on the dotted line as the long-term center fielder.
While the Yankees won't be inserting Trout 2.0 into the lineup on Opening Day, Law believes Dominguez could eventually become the star that was foretold.