The Yankees spent an extraordinary amount of capital bolstering the outfield this off-season. Acquiring Juan Soto and Trent Grisham cost the Yankees a number of pitching prospects and a starting-level player in Michael King. Alex Verdugo also required a nice haul of young players, including four pitchers.
General manager Brian Cashman indicated months ago that one of his priorities was adding to the outfield, specifically left-handed bats. He acquired a Hall of Fame level player, and Soto and Verdugo have the capacity to be above average. That entire unit will look completely different in 2024, but the Yankees have their top prospect working his way back diligently from Tommy John surgery.
On Thursday afternoon, Cashman stated that Jasson Dominguez is rehabilitating nicely, and his timetable for a return remains this upcoming summer; he’s making significant progress.
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The Yankees Know Jasson Dominginez Can Be Special
Dominguez displayed MLB-level qualities at 20 years old this past season, playing in just eight games. Over a 33-plate appearance sample size, Dominguez hit .258/.306/.677, including four homers and seven RBIs. He became the first Yankee to hit four homers in his first eight games as a rookie, showcasing his elite power and bat-to-ball skills.
Fortunately, the Yankees are just scratching the surface of what Dominguez could become, and that is a primary reason why Cashman left him out of trade negotiations.
At the minor league level, Dominguez played 109 games with Double-A Somerset last season before a nine-game stint in Triple-A ahead of his immediate promotion. He showcased dominance as he adjusted to Double-A and destroyed Triple-A, hitting .419/.514/.581.
The most interesting thing about Dominguez’s journey through the minors was his lack of home runs. He only hit 15 with Somerset last season but immediately showcased his power and qualities as a slugger at the MLB level.
Smashing a homer off Justin Verlander is no easy feat, and Dominguez did it in Houston without blinking an eye. That type of talent is hard to come by for a player who’s only 20, and the Yankees are viewing him as an instant impact piece upon his return.
Ideally, Aaron Judge, Soto, and Verdugo lock down the outfield this upcoming season, and Dominguez isn’t needed, but if there are inconsistencies or injuries, he should find an opportunity waiting for him upon his return.
In addition, the Yankees still view him as a starter in 2025, when both Soto and Verdugo’s contracts will expire. The hope is that they retain Soto on a long-term extension, but replacing Verdugo with Dominguez makes sense. That’s not even to mention Spencer Jones’s development and readiness to transition to the bigs next year.
The Yankees have plenty of premium prospects ready to make a significant impact in the future at extremely young ages. They’ve held onto Dominguez at every turn, and they are not going to trade him now when he’s nearly ready to become an everyday player in the Bronx.