Jasson Dominguez Weathers Disruptive 2020 Season
Even though he hasn’t played a professional game, 17-year-old Jasson Dominguez is regarded as the Yankees’ top position prospect.
The switch-hitting Dominican center fielder probably would have started the 2020 season in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League had the pandemic not wiped out the minor leagues.
Then the Yankees canceled instructional league, mostly because on Covid-19 infections spiking in the state of Florida. And when the Dominican League didn’t hold a draft, Dominguez wasn’t eligible to play in the league because he didn’t make his minor league debut this summer.
So what is the Yankees' plan for their $5.1 million signee from 2019?
“We are still considering doing a camp in the Dominican Republic, so Jasson would likely be invited there,’’ farm director Kevin Reese said.
Dominguez has posted videos on social media showing him launching batting practice pitches and flipping tires and showing off his 5-foot-11, 195-pound body.
When the minor league season was canceled, the Yankees sent workout programs to their prospects to follow. With the instructional league program not happening, the plan called for staff members to travel to where the player were working out.
Not knowing if there will be minor league seasons in 2021 or how late it would start, the Yankees halted throwing programs for pitchers.
Factoring into the Yankees not participating in an instructional league was what happened in March when a string of Covid-19 infections closed their minor league facility in Tampa. That meant players from outside the United States couldn’t get home for an extended period.
The combination of no 2020 minor league season and a fractured offseason will have a disruptive effect on minor leaguers when they eventually return to action.
“I can’t even begin to measure how much of a setback that will be, whenever things are back to normal,’’ Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said.
Of course, nothing was normal about 2020, and there were more high-end prospects impacted by the Yankees’ decision to not hold an instructional league.
Yet, when a player is hyped as much as Dominguez has been, the focus falls on him even if he has yet to play a professional game.