Part 3 of a series that analyzes the main perspectives of the Yankees
The 2020 season was supposed to be The Martian’s debut.
After signing Jasson Domínguez with a $ 5.1 million bonus last year, the Yankees hoped to get their first real look at their new prospect this season, first in the Dominican Summer League and then perhaps in the Gulf Coast League. in Tampa later this summer.
Instead, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the wait continues for the Dominican Republic native, on whom the Yankees spent almost all of their international fund money last year.
“We’ve got a glimpse of what he can do in the drill and some at-bats intrasquad [games] Last year, Mario Garza, now the Yankees’ baseball development coordinator, said in February. “This will be the first real test.”
And despite his talent that made Dominguez last year’s international free agency award, the Yankees know the real test will come on the field.
“Young Latinos really need games,” said Mark Newman, former senior vice president of baseball operations for the Yankees. “They grow up in a system that is more training oriented than the American system. Games are the focus here. “
And Newman emphasized the impact the lack of games will have on players like Dominguez, as well as Kevin Alcantara, another 17-year-old player the Yankees signed in the Dominican Republic last summer.
“The effect is especially significant with the development of the success tool,” Newman said. “Young hitters need to see movement, speed changes, and game situations. Minor league games are essentially simulations for MLB. They are critical to the process. “
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That process is stalled now, and likely will be for the rest of the year, as the minor league season is in grave danger due to cutbacks caused by the coronavirus.
It’s unclear when or where those players will train when the MLB tries to find a way to salvage at least part of the major league season.
However, for Domínguez, who hits the switch, this should only slow down, and not stop, its development. He assumed he would be four or five years away from the majors, and there seems little doubt that he is destined for stardom.
Domínguez turned 17 in February and had already impressed some of the Yankees coaches who had seen him hit the team complex in the Dominican Republic, along with Gary Sánchez and Miguel Andújar.
He has made comparisons with Mike Trout and Yasiel Puig, but despite the hype, there are still reasons to be cautious.
Because although the Yankees won gold with Gary Sánchez, who signed with the Yankees in 2009 for $ 3 million, they also missed Jesús Montero, who earned $ 1.6 million in 2006 and left.
The only way to demonstrate his worth will be for Domínguez to produce in games, when necessary. But there seems little doubt that it will happen.
“I would have obtained the same number from many teams,” an AL executive said of the Dominguez price. “He is not someone who comes every year or every five years. He is special.”
Evidence of that trait will have to wait a while, and it is unknown when Dominguez will finally be able to play in the games.