Yankees prospect Jasson Dominguez gets his first chance to impress
TAMPA, Fla. — He won’t make the big-league club out of spring training, which doesn’t diminish in the least the ever-burgeoning interest in Jasson Dominguez.
The highly regarded outfield prospect is among those scheduled to make the trip Saturday to nearby Clearwater for the Yankees’ spring training opener against the Phillies, and among the sizable group of talent evaluators in attendance — both from the Yankees and rival teams — few players will get as much attention.
Dominguez, 20, to whom the Yankees gave a franchise-record $5.1 million signing bonus at age 16 out of the Dominican Republic in July 2019, quickly rose through the Yankees’ system last season. The switch hitter, whose primary position is centerfield, started the season with Class A Tampa, was promoted to High-A Hudson Valley and ended the year with Double-A Somerset (playing five games).
Dominguez is slated to start this season with Somerset and, if his performance there earns it, could spend a decent portion of the year with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. That would set him up for a possible taste of the big leagues come September as a minor league call-up, though that’s far from a certainty.
Dominguez, tagged with the nickname "The Martian" for what some consider an out-of-this-world skill set, also has been called an “anomaly” by general manager Brian Cashman.
Jasson Dominguez bringing people to tears with his BP on one of the backfields. Dominguez on the travel squad to Clearwater tomorrow for the spring opener against the Phillies pic.twitter.com/PS4SdL2oTS— Erik Boland (@eboland11) February 24, 2023
The Yankees concluded workouts early Friday in order to depart for their team bonding activity, an annual tradition that predates sixth-year manager Aaron Boone and typically takes place before the Grapefruit League opener. This year’s event was at PopStroke, a Tiger Woods-designed miniature golf course in the Tampa area.
For what it’s worth (and it’s not much when it comes to translating into mini-golf success), the two best golfers in the clubhouse are righty reliever Ryan Weber, a non-roster invitee, and outfielder Aaron Hicks.
“We split up guys,” Boone said of his strategy in putting the competing groups together. “I think it’s good for some of the younger guys to be around some of our veteran players in a relaxed setting. I feel our veteran guys do a really good job of incorporating them and making them feel at home anyway, but this is one of those things in a non-work environment where you can let your hair down a little bit and have some fun."
Righty Greg Weissert, 28, the Bay Shore High School and Fordham University product who made his big-league debut last season, entered camp with a good chance of making the Opening Day roster in the bullpen. He'll get his first opportunity to take a step in that direction Saturday as he’s scheduled to pitch in Clearwater against the Phillies . . . The Yankees have split-squad games (at Dunedin against the Blue Jays and at home against Atlanta) on Sunday. Not surprisingly, Aaron Judge will make his exhibition debut in the game at Steinbrenner Field.