The Yankees may have a new No. 3 hitter

mlb: new york yankees at houston astros, jasson dominguez
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees have struck gold with the arrival of star prospect Jasson Dominguez. Since his promotion, the team has been unbeatable, and Dominguez himself has been on a tear with a five-game hitting streak, capped off by his first Yankee Stadium home run on Wednesday night.

A New Contender for the No. 3 Hole: How Dominguez Is Shaking Things Up

While Anthony Rizzo typically claims the No. 3 spot in the batting lineup, 20-year-old outfielder Dominguez has burst onto the scene and appears to have no intentions of giving it back. With a modest 17-at-bat sample size in the coveted No. 3 hole, Dominguez is already boasting a .353 batting average and a .353 OBP, complemented by a .765 slugging rate and a 1.118 OPS. Add two home runs, three RBIs, and a mere three strikeouts to the mix, and you’ve got yourself a phenom with a 14.3% strikeout rate and an astronomical 208 wRC+ across 21 plate appearances.

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Looking Ahead: Where Will Dominguez and Rizzo Fit in the Yankees’ Future?

It’s tantalizing to consider how the Yankees might configure their lineup for the next season, especially if Dominguez secures a starting centerfield position after spring training.

As it stands, Rizzo is still pegged for the No. 3 slot where he’s been quite efficient. During this season, Rizzo has posted a .266 average with a .346 OBP over 256 at-bats in that role. However, there’s a compelling argument to move him down to the No. 5 spot behind Giancarlo Stanton, particularly if Dominguez sustains his blazing form and begins drawing walks more consistently.

A Glimpse at the 2024 Batting Order: New Faces, New Strategies

As the Yankees prepare for 2024, changes in the batting order are almost inevitable. Whether it’s a new third baseman or even a shift in the outfield, alterations are afoot. Catching prospect Austin Wells might also make his Major League Baseball debut, potentially adding his lefty bat to the bottom of the order.

The Yankees, predominantly right-handed this season, could diversify by acquiring a player like Jeimer Candelario, a switch-hitting third baseman. Coupled with the emerging talent of Dominguez and the potential inclusion of Wells, the team would be sporting two switch-hitters and a lefty, offering a balanced and potent lineup.

One thing is for certain: With Dominguez at the helm, the Yankees are shaping up to have a much more dynamic and diverse roster next season. The young outfielder is not just a promising talent; he’s a strategic asset who has already begun to make his presence felt in the heart of the Yankees’ lineup.