The 18-year-old, $5.1 million signee out of the Dominican Republic has already become a social media cartoon character with his major league ready physicality, but with no professional experience due to a lost 2020 season, the Yankees announced the prudent decision Monday to start his season in Tampa for extended spring training.
Whether you buy into the “The Martian” hysteria or not, Dominguez represents a significant investment made by the organization in 2019 that set a franchise record for an individual international signing. The return on that investment is wisely seen as a long-term one with no developmental reason to rush the process.
If Dominguez is the real deal that everyone expects, starting the 2021 season in extended spring training will in no way slow his trek to the Bronx. Contrarily, per what Yankees senior director of player development Kevin Reese said to reporters Monday, Dominquez’s rise through the organization could be rapid:
“He’s got a ton of talent, a lot of skill, but he hasn’t played in a ton of games. We’ll be able to iron out anything that he needs to work through, and then once he gets rolling, I’m sure he’s going to be a steamroller through the Minor Leagues. … I apologize that you have to wait a little bit longer for that mystery to unveil itself, but when it comes, you’ll know.”
Dominquez won’t be a factor in the Bronx regardless this season but it’s not unreasonable to expect that he carves his way through the system and finds himself either in Hudson Valley (High-A) or Somerset (Double-A). So if you live in those areas, plan your excitement accordingly.
But for everyone else, enjoy the fantasy of what he could be based on the Mickey Mantle, Mike Trout and Bo Jackson comparisons and let the hype train run its course, hopefully straight to the Bronx.