Yankees provide update on when 20-year-old top prospect could return

MLB: Milwaukee Brewers at New York Yankees
Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

One of the brightest positives for the Yankees last season came from what Jasson Dominguez accomplished in the second half, especially after demolishing MLB pitchers in his cup of coffee in the Bronx. Unfortunately, it was also one of the most demoralizing parts of their season because he ended up needing season-ending Tommy John Surgery because of a UCL tear he suffered that would affect when he could return in 2024.

Aaron Boone sparked plenty of excitement when he mentioned that their top-ranked prospect would ‘look a lot like a normal player’ in Spring Training, and Brian Cashman provided a clearer picture as to when we’ll see him. Similar to what Jack Curry mentioned on Hot Stove a few weeks back, the Yankees’ GM mentioned that his return will come “sometime in the summer”, and that they’ll ‘need him “whenever he’s ready”.

With the Yankees hoping to assemble one of the most balanced and dominant lineups in baseball, they hope to add Jasson Dominguez back into their lineup in the coming months.

Jasson Dominguez Could Return To the Yankees in the Summer

MLB: Milwaukee Brewers at New York Yankees
Sep 9, 2023; Bronx, New York, USA; New York Yankees center fielder Jasson Dominguez (89) at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

Baseball America named Jasson Dominguez the 16th-best prospect in baseball, which places him at the top of the Yankees’ farm system as well. The switch-hitting outfielder was impressive across Double-A and Triple-A, really taking off in the second half and beginning an upward ascent through the organization that resulted in his much-awaited MLB debut.

Expectations were understandably tempered for a 20-year-old outfielder getting his first games in against the best pitching baseball has to offer, and yet in his first-ever swing in the big leagues, he’d take future Hall of Famer Justin Verlander deep for a solo shot. Across eight MLB games, Dominguez hit four home runs and posted a 162 wRC+, slugging an impressive .677 in that short sample size and creating plenty of hype for the top prospect’s return from injury.

If the Yankees can insert Jasson Dominguez into their lineup with stars like Aaron Judge and Juan Soto anchoring their offense, they could be extremely dangerous. Something that has proven to be an advantage for Dominguez is his calm and collected demeanor when facing adversity, as his confidence has become one of his defining traits as an athlete. On the baseball side of things, the speed and power tools are extremely enticing, and his improved feel for contact has elevated his profile a lot as a prospect.

That being said, there are questions about what his fit in the Bronx would look like after the Yankees made various acquisitions to add outfield depth.

mlb: los angeles dodgers at boston red sox, alex verdugo, yankees
Aug 26, 2023; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Red Sox right fielder Alex Verdugo (99) reacts after hitting a home run during the first inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Alex Verdugo and Trent Grisham will both get playing time in 2024, with the aforementioned Verdugo being considered the starting left fielder as of right now. Injuries can change things around but given the team’s previous attempts to acquire him, it’s hard to imagine that the Yankees view Verdugo as merely a placeholder for when the Martian returns, and if he’s performing well they’ll keep running him in their outfield.

Furthermore, Giancarlo Stanton is going to get time to rebound as well, although his struggles (or Verdugo’s) could put pressure on the team to make a bold decision and send an established big leaguer to the bench. The big thing here is that the Yankees won’t need to rely on Jasson Dominguez in order to field a competitive outfield, but if they can find a spot for him in their lineup, they’ll certainly pounce on the opportunity to potentially see Dominguez develop into a young superstar.