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Jasson Dominguez: Champ or Chump for Fantasy Baseball?

Jasson Dominguez - Fantasy Baseball Rankings, Prospects, Draft Sleepers, MLB Injury News

September call-ups aren't as crazy as they once were. Some teams used to call up their entire 40-man rosters! However, the 2023 version still includes several interesting rookies fantasy managers should be paying attention to.

No name has as much buzz as Jasson Dominguez. The 20-year-old Yankees prospect has otherworldly tools that earned him the nickname "the Martian," including a power/speed combo that everyone's looking for in fantasy. He doesn't have the most extensive MiLB resume, but his performance to date hints at the ability to translate those tools to production. He also has two homers and a .692 slugging percentage in his first 13 PAs as a Yankee.

Dominguez has become a somewhat polarizing prospect. Some scouts are leery of his ability to stick in centerfield defensively and make consistent contact, while others bring up names like Mike Trout and Mickey Mantle when searching for comps. The truth is likely somewhere in between, so let's take a closer look at what we should expect from Dominguez.

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The Scouting Report on Jasson Dominguez

As you would expect of the Martian, scouts love the raw, physical tools Dominguez brings to the table. MLB Pipeline gives him above-average power and run tools at 55 a piece. His hit tool scored a 50, which should be high enough for Dominguez to deliver both HR and SB at the highest level. The result is the 76th-ranked prospect in the game.

FanGraphs is even higher on him, seeing 60 raw power and 60 speed. His 30-grade hit tool is projected to increase to 40 in the future. He might lose half a step as his body matures, but his scouting report notes that Dominguez is already physically maxed out. That's a good thing for his immediate fantasy prospects since he shouldn't need to grow into his power potential.

Overall, FanGraphs ranks Dominguez as the 34th overall prospect and tops in the Yankees' system. Of course, toolsy prospects with relatively little game experience have more bust potential than most since they were always able to rely on physical gifts to overcome any obstacles. Luckily, Dominguez should avoid that fate.

 

The Performance of Jasson Dominguez

Dominguez reached Double-A (Somerset) for 22 PAs as a 19-year-old in 2022, but we cannot draw any conclusions from a sample that small. That means we only have this year to look at, and our sample is further muddied by 37 PAs at Triple-A (Scranton Wilkes-Barre) before his MLB debut.

The good news is that Dominguez did exactly what fantasy managers were looking for at Double-A this season. He hit .254/.367/.414 with 15 HR and 37 SB over 507 PAs, making a positive contribution in batting average, homers, and steals. His .327 BABIP was normal for a top prospect on the farm, while his 14.2% HR/FB and 37.3 FB% are indicative of a potential slugger in the making.

Dominguez's 25.6 K% was a little high, but he was incredibly young for the level and offset the strikeouts with an outstanding 15.2 BB%. With that kind of eye and a 12.1 SwStr%, strikeouts shouldn't be much of an issue. The eye also gives him a boost in OBP formats, something that rarely happens with someone this toolsy.

The performance earned Dominguez a shot at Triple-A, which he destroyed to the tune of .419/.514/.581 with three steals over 37 PAs. He won't maintain his .464 BABIP, but his 16.2 BB% was literally double his 8.1 K% and his SwStr% fell to 5.5. Yes, it's a very tiny sample, but his plate discipline appears to be on par with Juan Soto or prime Joey Votto. Those guys K more than you'd expect because they take so many borderline strikes, but it's still a good sign.

Dominguez didn't homer for Scranton Wilkes-Barre, and his 20ish HR pace at Double-A suggests his raw power isn't fully translating in games yet. Still, 20 bombs are nothing to sneeze at and the potential is there for so much more.

Dominguez also proved himself to be an excellent base thief on the farm, going 37-for-44 across all levels in 2022 (84% success) and 40-for-48 this season (83% success). Success rates that high will earn a green light even from a conservative organization like the Yankees, and he didn't compromise his SB attempts to do it.

 

Jasson Dominguez in the Bronx

Most organizations ease top prospects into the MLB lineup, but the Yankees chose a different direction. He hit fifth in his MLB debut and was promoted to third for the next two games: batting between Aaron Judge and Gleyber Torres. There is no better spot in the Yankees lineup to accumulate R+RBI, so Dominguez should be able to contribute counting stats with his steals and homers.

The last-place Yankees are likely to give Dominguez all of the playing time he can handle, especially since the guy he's replacing is now playing for Cincinnati (Harrison Bader). We have to worry about playing time for a lot of September call-ups, but Dominguez appears to be the exception to that rule.

Projection systems aren't sure about Dominguez's batting average, with THE BAT coming in the highest at a .237 clip. However, the low average projections are rooted in an assumed strikeout problem that the data we have simply doesn't support. Dominguez looks like a special prospect, and the conservative nature of projections is likely to miss outliers like him.

 

The Verdict on Jasson Dominguez

Any rookie could struggle, but Dominguez appears set up for immediate success. His advanced plate discipline should prevent him from being overwhelmed by MLB pitching, he knows how to steal a base, and he's already flashed plus power at the highest level. There are no playing time concerns, and the Yankees have handed him an important lineup slot already.

Rostered in just 41% of Yahoo! leagues, Dominguez is a Champ for any fantasy managers looking for speed, runs, and RBI. He shouldn't be a zero in batting average or HR either, making for one of the most exciting debuts in recent memory.



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