Yanks' Domínguez a threat in box, on bases for Mesa

October 11th, 2022

MESA, Ariz. – Jasson Domínguez was determined to steal the bag.

The staredown with Yankees Minor League coach Jose Javier, the Mesa Solar Sox staffer who was acting as the pitcher, was underway and the teen’s ever-present smile had disappeared.

It didn’t matter that the showdown was happening a few feet in front of the home dugout in the dirt at Sloan Park. This felt real.

Domínguez took two steps and shuffled twice. When Javier moved toward the imaginary home plate, MLB's No. 39 prospect sprinted away in delight. Then Domínguez ran to the back of the line and did the baserunning drill again.

Then he did it again.

The 19-year-old knows that if he is going to accomplish his goal of making it to the Major Leagues as fast as he can, he’s going to have to get better at everything, and that includes stealing bases. That’s why he is playing in the Arizona Fall League, and that’s why he is taking his time with the Solar Sox so seriously.

"I feel like I can get better in every part of my game," Domínguez said in Spanish. "There are some areas I need to get better at than others, but I’m advancing, and I feel like I’m learning every time I go on the field."

Domínguez recorded two hits and three runs scored over his first four Arizona Fall League games, walking four times and stealing two bases during that span. On Monday, he added to his hot start by reaching base four times and ripping off another bag, doubling, singling, walking twice and scoring two runs in Mesa's 11-8 loss to Peoria.

Jasson Domínguez (right) is developing his base-stealing skills with Yankees coach Jose Javier.Jesse Sanchez

"I really want to use this time to learn and have some fun," Domínguez said. "I feel like I’m meeting a lot of people and gaining experience from them and sharing my experience with others, too. I can help them, and they can help me."

Domínguez slashed .273/.375/.461 and hit 16 homers in 120 games at three levels and reached Double-A in 2022. The two-time SiriusXM All-Star Futures Games participant also stole 37 bases.

"With the Yankees, my number one goal is to stay healthy and do my work," Domínguez said. "I know that if I stay healthy and I do what I have to do, good things will come my way. I don’t know where I’m going to start next season. I don’t control that. All I can control is how I play."

Domínguez has already come a long way. He signed as an international prospect for $5.1 million in 2019 and immediately became one of the most talked about prospects in the game. Sure, his nickname is The Martian, but he has his feet firmly planted on the ground. And no, he hasn’t played as himself in MLB The Show 22 because that’s not his style. In fact, he doesn’t play the popular baseball video game at all.

"I play baseball in real life," Domínguez said in English with a chuckle.

Now, Clash of Clans? That’s a different story. Domínguez loves that game.

"Honestly, I’m flattered by all of the attention," Domínguez said. "It’s a blessing from God to be recognized and have people talk positively about you, but the reality is, I try not to give it too much attention or get caught up in that. My family raised me to be that way and I still have a lot of work to do."

Javier first worked with Domínguez in the Dominican Republic when the prospect signed three years ago and later in Tampa and Hudson Valley. He’s been impressed with the teenager at every stop and says the best is yet to come.

"Jasson is a smart kid, a fast learner and he adapts so quickly," Javier said. "He works so hard and he believes that there is nothing he cannot do if he works at it. Right now, we are impressed with his abilities, but we also understand there are a lot of things that he needs to continue to improve on."

Those who know Domínguez best describe him as humble, quiet and funny. He loves his teammates and he’s also quite the cook. He currently shares a place with fellow Yankees prospects Yorlin Calderon and Leam Mendez near Sloan Park.

Domínguez also has another goal for 2023.

"I can speak some English," Domínguez said in Spanish. "I’m learning and I’m able to defend myself, but sometimes there are points that I want to make, and I don’t have the fluidity to express myself in English. That’s another goal for next year. I want to improve my English and do fluid interviews in two languages."

T.J. Rumfield, another Yankees prospect, went 3-for-3 with three doubles, a walk, a pair of RBIs and a run scored in Mesa's loss, and A's prospect Zack Gelof (MLB No. 94) had two hits and a run scored. Ninth-ranked Marlins prospect Joe Mack homered and threw out a would-be base stealer.

No. 30 Nationals prospect Drew Millas homered and doubled during a three-hit, four-RBI showing for the Javelinas.