Yankees could promote top outfield prospect in September

AZ Fall League: Mesa Solar Sox at Surprise Saguaros, yankees, jasson dominguez
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees recently elevated star outfield prospect Jasson Dominguez to Triple-A, sparking conversations about potentially giving him live MLB at-bats as early as September.

With the Yankees virtually out of the playoff picture and casting their gaze toward prospects for the 2024 season, Dominguez emerges as a top contender for a starting outfield role. Everson Pereira, another promising outfielder currently getting his fair share of MLB action, could be Dominguez’s competition during the upcoming spring training for either the left or center field position.

Small Sample Size, Big Impact

Although Dominguez has appeared in only seven games for Triple-A Scranton this season, his numbers are nothing short of jaw-dropping. He boasts a batting average of .478, an OBP of .556, and a slugging percentage of .652. Add to that 10 RBIs, a 14.8% walk rate, a 7.4% strikeout rate, and an astronomical 206 wRC+.

In a game on Sunday night, Dominguez continued to shine, tallying two more hits, including a single and a triple. Over his last four games, he has accumulated eight hits and seven RBIs. Yankees manager Aaron Boone has openly acknowledged Dominguez’s rapid ascension, stating, “I’m in the camp that I think he’s going to be a really good player in this league. I think he’s a really special talent. … Obviously he impacts the ball and is athletic and can run, but I like the fact that at a very young age, he can really control the strike zone.

The Yankees Should Play the Momentum Card

The crux of the argument lies in the negligible difference between Triple-A and Double-A gameplay. Riding the wave of a prospect’s momentum can often pay dividends. Given that Dominguez tore through Double-A stats in July and half of August, his Triple-A stats suggest he might be ripe for MLB exposure without affecting his service time.

Why Waiting Could Be a Mistake

While some could argue that promoting Dominguez too swiftly might not be prudent, exposing him to top-tier MLB pitching can only serve as a learning experience for his projected 2024 promotion. Besides, who’s to say he won’t immediately demonstrate his elite play discipline at the MLB level?

Defensive Considerations

On the defensive side of things, a more extensive sample size of Dominguez’s action could help the Yankees gauge his aptitude for centerfield, a position that some think he might not excel at compared to left field.

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Future Strategy: Go Big or Go Home

As the 2023 season winds down and the Yankees consider the future of Harrison Bader, it makes logical sense to bench the latter in favor of giving their prospects more playing time. At this juncture, the team ought to fully commit to a developmental strategy rather than straddling the fence.