Yankees fans are solely focused on finding talent to help them this season, but Brian Cashman and company have made a major play for the team’s future.
Jasson Dominguez isn’t a starting pitcher capable of helping the Yankees win the 2019 World Series. He is, however, just the sort of high ceiling prospect that can help New York contend for championships consistently for years to come.
There are no guarantees about Dominguez’s ability to make a big impact at the Major League level, but he is the No. 1 prospect on MLB.com’s International Prospects list. That’s why the Yankees formally announced their signing of the 16-year-old Dominican outfielder for an estimated $5 million on Tuesday.
Signing Dominguez will severely limit the organization’s ability to add other international talent for the time being. The Yankees total bonus pool available to make international signings is just under $5.4 million this year. The organization could make some trades to acquire more signing money, but Dominguez will still end up being the most expensive acquisition by a wide margin.
Even though he’s just 16, scouts already believe Dominguez has the ability to hit for a lot of power. His body is remarkably well-developed for his age. Dominguez checks in at 5-foot-10, 190 pounds and it’s widely believed he’ll stay close to that size as his career progresses.
Even more exciting that Dominguez’s power potential is his running ability. Scouts grade his speed at a maximum number of 60. He’s currently slated to start his professional career as a center fielder as a result. Even if he’s forced to move to a corner outfield position due to his size, his speed and arm strength profile him to be an above-average defender.
The real question for Yankees fans is how quickly they might see Dominguez in the Bronx. The short answer to that question is “no time soon.” Cashman and company are going to be very careful with Dominguez’s development on and off the diamond. Expect him to spend a minimum of one full season at every level in the minors to maximize his chance to succeed s a Yankee.
Despite his youth, Dominguez still should easily crack the organization’s list of top 10 prospects as soon as it’s updated. It’s not out of the question that he could immediately catapult into the top five. Guys like Estevan Florial and Deivi Garcia have the combination of talent and experience to keep Dominguez out of the top spot, but he’s going to enter the rankings at a very high spot on the team’s prospect list.
The bottom line here is that Dominguez is a prospect Yankees fans will hear a lot about in the coming years. He may not be close to making his debut in the Bronx, but the organization has big plans for him moving forward.