Jasson Dominguez’s nickname is The Martian.
You probably knew that. It’s hard to imagine that there is anyone who clicks on a story at Baseball America who was unaware of this fact.
He’s The Martian because he had an otherworldly combination of size and speed as a teenager. When the Yankees signed him in 2019, he was a 5-foot-11, 195-pound switch-hitting center fielder who could turn in a top-of-the-scale, 80-grade run time and was also projected to potentially have 80-grade raw power.
When a 15- or 16-year-old looks like Dominguez looked, runs like Dominguez ran and hits like Dominguez hit, the understandable hope is to wonder what he will look like if he continues to develop down a similar track.
That’s not the way baseball always works. Nowadays, the Martian is somewhat of a misnomer of a nickname for Dominguez. Pirates shortstop Oneil Cruz, now that’s a Martian.
Cruz has some of the best power in the majors as well as the strongest arm as well as top-of-the-scale speed. Oh, and he’s a 6-foot-7 shortstop.
Among current prospects, Reds shortstop Elly De La Cruz is the player with the most otherworldy combination of tools and production.
Shohei Ohtani? He’s likely from somewhere in the Andromeda Galaxy.
Dominguez? The nickname doesn’t really fit. That’s not a slight or a knock. It’s just that it’s hard to say in 2022 that his tool set places him among the sport’s elite.
Dominguez also runs very well for someone with his thick, powerful frame, but he’s not a top-of-the-scale speedster. He swiped 37 bases in 44 tries this year, which is very impressive, but with the liberalized basestealing rules in the minors, that figure placed 60th. He’s an excellent runner for his size, but not an exceptional runner compared to the rest of baseball.
Dominguez has a shot to stay in center field, but he’s not viewed as a plus defender up the middle. He could be above-average in the corners.
If you’re reading this, you’re probably thinking that this is an attempt to pop the hot air balloon-sized hype that has followed Dominguez since before he signed with the Yankees.
If you look at Dominguez as something other than the next Mickey Mantle, what he’s done and what he could do look way more impressive than they do when you are trying to compare him to Hall of Famers.
If you’re expecting…