Jasson Domínguez, Nick Yorke Headline 10 Statcast Standouts (June 10th)


Image credit: Jasson Dominguez (Mike Janes/Four Seam Images)

Every Monday morning we’ll highlight several players who stood out to us based on their underlying Statcast metrics. These are not full scouting reports, but can often serve as good early indicators of prospects who might be ready to break out, or are demonstrating MLB-ready skills.

Last week, we looked at a future relief ace and highlighted Hurston Waldrep’s fantastic splitter. Today, we’ll take a look at several AL East prospects, including Jasson Dominguez’s Statcast data, as well as prospects from the other four teams in the division. We’ll also look at another potential closer and show you why the Mariners called up Tyler Locklear. To close out the list, we’ll look at a Yankees catching prospect that is absolutely crushing the ball at Triple-A.

You can access the data below via Baseball Savant.

Related prospect rankings:

10 Statcast Standouts

Jasson Domínguez, OF, Yankees

The Martian has landed in Scranton, giving us his launch parameters, and they are glorious. Here’s his first Triple-A HR:

Yesterday, he went 4-5 with another bomb:

In the early going through Saturday, Dominguez is showing roughly 65- to 70-grade raw power based on his average exit velocity of 92 mph and his EVBest50 (average EV of his top 50% of batted balls) of 103 mph. Both metrics are improved by 1-2 mph from his 2023 Triple-A sample. His 109.6 (90th percentile) exit velocity is elite, though the sample size is very small. As we accumulate more data, we’ll be able to more confidently grade out his power, though we can give him an easy plus grade already.

The critical improvements in his game are showing up in his average launch angle, which is now up to an average of 16 degrees. This allows him to tap into his plus raw power more frequently, as well as his improved contact rate, now at 73% in Triple-A. He looks about as ready as ready can be to be a star in the Bronx for years to come.

Nick Yorke, 2B, Red Sox

In 2021, Nick Yorke hit .325/.412/.516 across Low A and High A, catapulting him into the upper echelon of prospects, peaking at No. 31 in our 2022 preseason rankings. He has since struggled to live up to the hype of one of the best pure hitters in the minors. However, at long last, he has landed in Triple-A. Let’s see what his early Statcast data looks like.

Yorke has now seen about 100 pitches and taken 35 swings, and has only swung and missed six times, for a very strong 83% contact rate, suggesting he may be returning to the form that made him a top prospect. He also sports a peak exit velocity of 109 mph, which is just below the major league median, and a 90th percentile exit velocity of 105 mph, which is slightly above-average. The early data suggest he should have roughly major league average raw power, which combined with potentially plus contact skills could make him a very productive major league hitter.

Will Warren, RHP, Yankees

Warren returned to Triple-A this season and has had a rough go so far, pitching to a 7.24 ERA through his first 12 starts, including an atrocious May where he gave up 30 earned runs in 17 innings. However, he has a long track record of success, and what really matters are the quality of his pitches, and he looks to have five quality pitches.

On Friday, Warren turned things around, striking out nine in 5.2 shutout innings while walking only one batter. Let’s take a look at his pitch shapes from that game:

I put a reference line around 18 inches of IVB as that’s usually a mark where no matter the arm slot, you’re getting at least average ride on the fastball. Warren averages around 15 inches of IVB, which is roughly average given his extremely low arm slot. Combined with his 93 mph average velocity, his fastball is probably a fringy pitch at the major league level, despite a very strong 16% swinging strike rate (whiffs/pitch) both this season and last season. The challenge with the pitch is that he doesn’t throw it in the zone enough, with a 44% zone rate against righties and a 36% zone rate against lefties.

Given the rest of his arsenal, I think the pitch will play up above its raw stuff, however he’ll need to vastly improve his command of the pitch.

Warren’s primary fastball is his sinker, which is more natural for a pitcher with his arm slot, and it does a great job of suppressing launch angles, with negative average launch angles in both 2024 and 2023 on the sinker, however he’s often missing away from lefties, which is reducing the effectiveness of the pitch:

The pitch has a ton of armside movement, so it’s not surprising that he doesn’t have great command of the pitch just yet.

He shows better command of the sweeper, especially to righties, where he’s using it as a chase pitch. This is clearly his best pitch, with 17 inches of sweep and a 3,000 rpm spin rate.

He needs to consistently locate it just below the zone to maximize the effectiveness of the pitch, but he’s doing a good job avoiding the heart of the plate. He primarily pitches off these three pitches to righties, and he’ll need to be able to command one of his two fastballs better if he’s going to succeed in the major leagues.

To lefties he also mixes in a cutter at 87 and a changeup at 86 that has very similar shape to the sinker, but comes in about eight mph slower. He has gotten four whiffs on his sinker against lefthanded batters all season (106 pitches). So while he’s mixing in five pitches about equally against opposite handed batters, he might be better off throwing his sinker less to lefties.

In short, Will Warren needs a jump in command before he can reliably get major league hitters out, but the raw stuff looks promising.

Chayce McDermott, RHP, Orioles

McDermott has struck out 90 batters in 58 innings this season, far ahead of his 64 in 50 innings last year for the Norfolk Tides, and leads all Triple-A pitchers in strikeouts, ahead of teammate Cade Povich, and David Festa. Let’s take a look at how he generates so many strikeouts.

McDermott works off a high-vert fastball, with above-average ride and solid velocity, averaging about 94 mph. He added almost 1.5 inches of ride on the fastball from last season, which has helped it become an average MLB pitch from a pure stuff perspective. Looking at his two most recent starts, he gets most of his whiffs when he can get to 20 inches of vert on the pitch:

Similar to Warren, McDermott struggles to locate the pitch, but it’s been effective nonetheless.

McDermott’s success is powered by his secondary pitches. Against righties, he throws two slider shapes, a gyro slider/cutter and a sweeper, with the gyro version getting a 50% whiff/swing rate, and the sweeper 41%. He does an excellent job commanding the gyro pitch to righties, labelled a cutter:

We see very few pitches in the heart of the zone, with the majority on the outer third or off the plate. To lefties, it’s not as consistent, but he’s targeting down and in for the most part.

The sweeper is used to generate chases and whiffs off the plate, and he does a great job avoiding the heart of the zone.

The changeup is a great weapon that he is able to consistently get low in the zone, and he mixes in a few to righthanded batters as well. He rounds out his arsenal with a curveball that got better results in 2023, but is clearly his fifth-best pitch.

McDermott looks like a quality MLB arm, building off a solid fastball and three good secondaries, with the ability to get both lefties and righties out. It wouldn’t surprise me if he racks up a lot of strikeouts in the majors when he gets his chance.

Riley Tirotta, 3B, Blue Jays

Tirotta through 141 plate appearances this year has a robust .302/.468/.538 slash line through Saturday, good for a 1.006 OPS. His exit velocities are fringy at best, but he gets the most of his raw power by consistently elevating the ball. He’s not likely to be a star, but he popped in this chart, sitting close to Joey Loperfido.

Tyler Locklear, 1B/3B Mariners

The Mariners just called Locklear up, and I think this chart shows exactly why:

In a small sample of 29 balls put in play, he’s averaging a higher 90th percentile exit velocity than any batter in Triple-A other than James Wood, who we’ll do a deep dive on next week if he’s not in the majors.

Here’s the same chart, but on a per swing basis:

If your bubble is close to James Wood’s that’s usually a good sign.

Axiel Plaz, C, Pirates

Plaz is hitting an underwhelming .208/.318/.403 in the early going, but I’m quite confident that his stat line will soon reflect his underlying skills as the season goes on. What make Plaz a potential impact player is his ability to hit the ball hard in the air, with his average exit velocity on balls hit 20 degrees or higher at an exceptional 91.3 mph, and does all that with a contact rate above 72%.

The major league average for 90th percentile exit velocity is 104 mph. Plaz clears that bar, showing roughly 55-grade raw power that should play up with his ability to lift the ball with authority. He’s also one of the younger batters in the FSL, and should have plenty of time to grow into higher exit velocities.

Andrew Walters, RHP, Guardians

Walters pounds his fastball at the top of the zone, but has struggled in a tiny sample in Triple-A so far, after demolishing Double-A with a 1.35 ERA and 38 strikeouts in 20 innings. It’s a classic power fastball that sits 97 mph with about 2 inches more vertical ride than similar fastballs from the same arm slot. It’s an easy plus pitch, and he pairs it with a gyro slider and cutter. The results haven’t been there just yet, but we’ll check back in on Walters in a month, as his fastball/slider combo should play at the back of any bullpen.

Shane Baz, RHP, Rays

We wrote about Baz last week as well, but his performance on Saturday warrants another check-in. He struck out 10 batters in five innings and generated a lot of swings and misses, mostly on the fastball:

The key difference was that Baz added about 1 mph in velocity, though everything else stayed the same. He still isn’t getting elite ride on the pitch, but if that ticks up as well, his fastball will approach elite again. He’s trending in the right direction as he works his way back from Tommy John surgery.

Ben Rice, C, Yankees

Sometimes older prospects like Rice don’t quite get the credit that they deserve because their performance is discounted due to their relative seniority. Last year, Rice hit .324/.434/.615 across three levels, including a 1.049 OPS in Double-A. This year, he’s mashing again, with 15 home runs in the early going, including a scorching hot start to his Triple-A career.

We only have 12 balls in play for Rice at Triple-A, but he hit three of them for home runs, and is averaging an elite 99 Mmph exit velocity on them, including an 98 mph average on balls hit with at least 20 degrees of launch angle. We’ll be keeping an eye on Rice, as he and Dominguez could be playing in the Bronx quite soon.

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