Jasson Dominguez is special.
So special, in fact, that the New York Yankees were willing to give the the Dominican outfielder a $5 million signing bonus to secure his services. That's extremely atypical for an international prospect who's just 16 years old.
But again, Dominguez is atypical. He's been nicknamed "The Martian" due to his otherworldly skill set. He's a switch-hitter who demolishes baseballs from both sides of the plate. His muscular frame has drawn comparisons to that of former NFL All-Pro running back Maurice Jones-Drew. His athleticism in the field and on the base paths is jaw-dropping, and he's been clocked at around a 6.3 in the 60-Yard Dash. For comparison, Adalberto Mondesi, who currently leads the MLB in stolen bases, ran about a 6.6 at that age.
A recent ESPN profile on Dominguez is filled with glowing reviews from anonymous MLB executives, who've compared him to the likes of Mike Trout and Mickey Mantle.
"(He's) like Mickey Mantle. He's not 6-foot. He's a switch-hitter. He's got crazy power. He's fast as s---. He loves playing," one international scouting director gushed. Dominguez, who's named after former Yankee great Jason Giambi (albeit with an extra "s" in his given name), was the top prospect on MLB Pipeline's Top 30 International Prospects list prior to his signing.
"Going back to the first time I saw him, it was a bit hard to believe that he was as good as I was seeing when I saw him the first time," Donny Rowland, the Yankee's director of international scouting, said on a conference call Tuesday, per the New York Post. "I kept asking our scouts who I trust…is this real?".
"His body is strong now…He's not a typical projection player, where we're hoping in three to four years his tools are there. They're already there. He's strong now."
An MLB player hasn't debuted at 18 years old since Alex Rodriguez did it for the Seattle Mariners in 1994. Could that be realistic for Dominguez? We'll just have to wait and see, but he seems to be bringing the right mindset amidst all the hype.
"I've always wanted to be a Yankee," Dominguez told MLB.com after his signing. "It's a dream come true. I'm very happy to be taking this first step of my professional career. My goal is to be the best I can be and be an example for generations in the future."
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