The Yankees did everything in their power this off-season to reinforce the outfield, securing the talents of Juan Soto, Alex Verdugo, and Trent Grisham. Two star-level players, one of whom has a Hall of Fame-level bat, should fuel an offense that hopes to be far more productive in 2024.
However, Soto and Verdugo are headed into the final year of arbitration and will be free agents in 2025. Ultimately, that could spell trouble for the Yankees, who are hoping to exercise their World Series window in 2024. The projection is that the Yankees will extend Soto on a long-term contract, but the front office does have insurance policies in place with prospects Spencer Jones and Jasson Dominguez — of course, not nearly as impactful or proven.
Yankees Prospect Spotlight: Jasson Dominguez
Dominguez secured the No. 21 spot on ESPN’s top 100 prospect list, ranking as the Yankees’ top young player. The switch hitter has elite power and solid athleticism but underwent Tommy John surgery just before the 2023 season came to an end.
Dominguez has ridiculous potential but a lot of expectations on his shoulders, so many will be anticipating his first full season as a professional ball player.
However, we got a sneak peek at what he can accomplish over just an eight-game sample size to close last season. He hit .258/.303/.677, smashing four homers with seven RBIs. While he will want to reduce his 24.2% strike-out rate a bit and increase his 6.1% walk rate, he managed a 162 wRC+, meaning he was 62% better than the average MLB hitter over that small number of games.
Dominguez has already hit a home run off Justin Verlander, a future Hall of Famer. Ultimately, with all the tools to become elite, Dominguez is trying to rehabilitate from the surgery he underwent last fall and return 100%.
[su_posts template=”templates/list-loop.php” posts_per_page=”3″ tax_term=”1622326″ offset=”1″ order=”desc”]
Future Outlook and Recovery
Fortunately, the Yankees aren’t in dire need of more outfielders, so rushing him back isn’t necessary. His estimated timetable for return is this upcoming summer, but the Bombers desperately need his services; he will likely start in Triple-A, re-discovering his momentum and consistency.
The question is, where will the Yankees utilize him in the outfield when he does return?
Some have him slated as the future centerfielder, but he could always take over in left with Jones helping man center with his speed and defensive upside. Fortunately, the Yankees have plenty of talent developing in the outfield, a position that was considered one of the weakest in baseball last year.
Aaron Boone recently said that Dominguez would look like a normal player in spring training, but they still have him working through a diligent throwing program, even if he’s able to hit at a normal level.
So far, Dominguez is progressing well and trending in the right direction, but the Yankees need to give him all the time he needs to make a full and seamless recovery.