New York Yankees’ top outfield prospect Jasson Dominguez stole the show during the team’s spring training opener against the Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday afternoon. Despite the loss, Dominguez launched a 420-foot home run to left center field, showcasing the elite power he brings to the table. Dominguez has only ever reached a competitive level that features Double-A talent, but doing it against Major Leaguers certainly showcases development and timetable for promotion.
Nonetheless, while all the headlines are focused on Dominguez, one unknown bullpen arm may be a diamond in the rough for the Yankees. 26-year-old prospect Alex Mauricio put together an excellent performance against the Phillies in his first spring training action.
Mauricio wasn’t a known commodity but was invited to spring training after performing in High-A with Hudson Valley during the 2022 season. Interestingly, Mauricio retired after the 2019 campaign but decided to return, signing a free-agent deal with he Bombers. He pitched 37.2 innings last year and recorded a 4.78 ERA. He hosted nearly 11 strikeouts per nine with a 67% left-on-base rate and a 31% ground ball rate. He barely gave up any home runs, but his ERA suggests he went through a few struggles getting back into baseball shape.
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The Yankees saw some serious potential in Alex Mauricio on Saturday:
Mauricio recorded three straight strikeouts against the Phillies in his lone inning of action. Mauricio features a 4-seam fastball that hovers around 95.8 mph with 2,510 RPMs of spin. He also features a cutter that averages 88.5 mph with 2,666 RPMs of spin. His cutter interestingly generates 6 inches of sweep which makes it a hybrid between a slider.
Mauricio features solid velocity on his pitches and clearly has some generous break, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see him elevate to Double-A Somerset if he continues to perform well in spring training. Considering he’s a bit older at 26 years old, it is easy to overlook him as a legitimate contributor down the road, but his excellent outing certainly suggests he has the stuff to reach a higher level of play.
At this point in his career, Alex seems to be a bit streaky. During the month of July last year, he enjoyed a 0.93 ERA across seven games, allowing just three hits in 9.2 innings.
In July, things came crashing back down to earth, hosting a 7.71 ERA across seven innings. He allowed nine hits and six earned runs with one homer. If he can put together a more consistent base of work, the Yankees can justify elevating him through the system quickly given his age, but there is some untapped potential to expand upon.