The New York Yankees shocked the world and upended most projected 2024 rosters on Wednesday when they succumbed to internet rumors and actually promoted Jasson Dominguez. The move came after the 20-year-old phenom had spent just nine games at Triple-A (and hit .419 in the process).
This decision is somewhere between silly and inspired, but fears about causing long-term damage to Dominguez's game in case he has a difficult month are probably overstated. If there's one thing we learned from Dominguez's 2023 campaign, it's that his adjustment period may be a little longer than we'd like, but there's always a pretty potent light at the end of the tunnel.
This summer, that light was his insane July and August that we feared might never come, but which swiftly propelled him to the game's highest level when it arrived. Not only did he solve Double-A pitching; he torched it, which carried over to a brief cameo in Scranton and (hopefully now to) a showcase in the Bronx.
The reputation that proceeded Dominguez's signing, as a teenager, was always patently absurd. Bo Jackson, Mickey Mantle and Mike Trout comparisons did him no favors, and threatened to invite scorn on his career even if he ended up, say, a four-time All-Star and 15-year starter (aka a bum, per WFAN callers). Dominguez The Man and Dominguez The Martian are two different entities, but it says a lot that the human being, while battling absurd expectations, has still managed to embrace the outsized persona foist upon him.
One fan recounted a hilarious encounter at the airport that went viral this week following Dominguez's promotion. Unsure of who he was speaking to at first, this fan got a crash course in Dominguez's outer-space aura after asking him if he'd enjoyed the games in Tampa.
Yankees Jasson Dominguez, Austin Wells jersey numbers released
Dominguez and Wells will reportedly start with Nos. 89 and 88, giving Yankee fans a bunch of fun throwback jerseys. No word yet on what jersey number Dominguez's alter ego The Martian will wear.
When all you do is gaze at Dominguez's slash line, you miss the full story. You miss the absolute lasers his bat is capable of producing rather effortlessly, from both sides of the plate. You miss the blazing speed that allows him to score from second base on routine dribblers. You miss the electricity in his gait and the swagger in his swing.
He may never reach his ceiling, but also ... he just might. And right now, his limits are infinite. The worst part about Dominguez being promoted early is that the myth begins to evaporate slightly sooner. The best part? He just might be that good.