Jasson Dominguez’s Bronx debut sparks frenzy among Yankees fans

Yankees rookies Jasson Dominguez and Anthony Volpe are in a playful mood during a practice season in September 2023.

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After an impressive start in his debut MLB series for the Yankees in Houston, Jasson Dominguez is prepared to make his mark in the Bronx. While frenzied fans are buzzing with expectation to see him making it big at home, the Yankees are looking to ride on the energy and athleticism of their young guns.

The fans gathering at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday night are eagerly anticipating Jasson Dominguez’s arrival. This season, which Yankees fans were prepared to erase from memory, has taken an unexpected turn. While they haven’t entirely abandoned their desire to see general manager Brian Cashman and manager Aaron Boone depart, the recent developments have given them hope for a memorable September.

Yankees get new energy thanks to rookies

Their newfound optimism isn’t rooted in the Yankees suddenly becoming strong contenders for a postseason push. They remain eight games behind the American League’s last wild-card position, with FanGraphs giving them a mere 0.4% chance of reaching the playoffs. Instead, the source of excitement lies in the recent emergence of four rookies over the past few weeks. These newcomers, as Aaron Judge himself emphasized, have injected a fresh surge of “vitality” into the entire team, from the bus ride to the clubhouse, the dugout, and most notably, the field.

Among these rookies, one stands out, and this is in no way a slight to the accomplishments of Everson Pereira, Oswald Peraza, or Austin Wells, all of whom have had their share of memorable moments in Houston.

Yankees Aaron Judge and Jasson Dominguez celebrate after beating the Astros 5-4 on September 2, 023, in Houston.
AP Photo

That standout is Jasson Dominguez, affectionately known as “The Martian.” This moniker has been attached to him since he received an eye-popping franchise-record signing bonus of $5.1 million when he was just 16 years old, signed out of the Dominican Republic in July 2019.

Jasson Dominguez, currently 20 years old, has not only lived up to the enormous hype that surrounded him when he signed but has taken it to even greater heights. His performance during his first major league spring training earlier this year already had fans buzzing, and then came Friday night, further fueling the excitement.

On the same day that Jasson Dominguez earned his big league call-up alongside catching prospect Wells, he made an unforgettable impact. In his very first at-bat, he showcased his remarkable talent. Facing a 0-and-1 fastball from Justin Verlander, Jasson Dominguez delivered a seemingly effortless swing that transformed the pitch into an opposite-field rocket. This impressive hit soared into the Crawford Boxes, the overhanging leftfield area at Minute Maid Park. It’s a stadium where numerous Yankees’ postseason hopes have been dashed since 2017.

Frenzied anticipation for Jasson Dominguez

Fast forward to Sunday night, and Jasson Dominguez continued to make history. He became the first Yankees rookie since Aaron Judge to launch two home runs in his first three games. His latest feat was a game-changing two-run blast to right field in the sixth inning off Cristian Javier. Notably, Javier had previously given the Yankees considerable trouble, both during the 2022 regular season and in Game 3 of the ALCS. Jasson Dominguez’s home run handed the Yankees a 3-1 lead on their way to a 6-1 victory.

Boone noted that he was comfortable, emphasizing that there wasn’t a lot of anxiety when he approached the plate. He mentioned that he played the game with ease, and it was evident that his skill set was impressive.

Jasson Dominguez with Giancarlo Stanton in Houston on September 3, 2023.
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Away from the spotlight, Jasson Dominguez, who had a valuable stint with the club during spring training, has made quite an impression on his veteran teammates. He appears to have navigated the often tricky path for newly promoted prospects with apparent ease. This path involves striking a balance between projecting confidence without coming across as overly confident and showing deference to veterans while maintaining a degree of self-assuredness.

One Yankee mentioned that he understood the situation well. Another member of the traveling party commented on what initially stood out about Jasson Dominguez, highlighting his maturity and his ability to ask the right questions.

When inquired about the preferences of various pitchers, such as what they liked to throw in specific counts and their tendencies, he emphasized that Jasson Dominguez didn’t come across as someone who claimed to know everything.

Clint Frazier, who made his MLB debut with a double and a home run on July 1, 2017, interestingly also in Houston, serves as a recent example of a highly-touted prospect struggling to navigate the clubhouse dynamics.

Michael King, whose father is a TV newsman, delivered an apt sound bite, cleverly referencing Jasson Dominguez’s nickname. King stated that the Martian had lived up to all the hype he had heard, describing him as otherworldly and noting that he came out and dominated. He then addressed some of the intangible qualities mentioned earlier.

He expressed that he was more impressed with Jasson Dominguez’s poise. King observed that when someone comes up as a top prospect, they might have a big ego, but the rookie was surprisingly humble and quiet, resembling a very good rookie. He added that when Dominguez went out and produced on the field, it made people love him even more.

Jasson Dominguez remains free and easy

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Late Sunday night in the away team’s locker room, Jasson Dominguez wore a smile as he contemplated what his debut at Yankee Stadium might be like. It’s in front of a fan base that’s nearly desperate for something to cheer about this season and beyond.

“I think it’s going to be big-time,” Jasson Dominguez said. “I think it’s going to be big-time. It’s going to be awesome.”

If his performance in the first three games over the weekend is any indication, the young 20-year-old center fielder won’t be overwhelmed by the big moment. Jasson Dominguez certainly lived up to the high expectations that surrounded him during the Yankees’ sweep of the Astros. He smashed two home runs and managed to get a hit in every one of the three games.

While early success is always vital to help a rookie feel more comfortable in the major leagues, the Yankees were equally impressed by how he made everything seem so effortless.

Yankees fans are energized

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The presence of Jasson Dominguez and catcher Austin Wells has ignited a team that was desperately seeking a spark as they entered a September focused more on the future than any immediate playoff aspirations.

The Yankees came back home after winning six out of seven games, bringing them within one game of .500. The atmosphere in the clubhouse has been notably more relaxed lately. Although employing a lineup with five rookies won’t always be as seamless as it was over the weekend, the Yankees are embracing the energy and athleticism that their young talent has injected into the team, regardless of how long this positive streak continues.

Wells has demonstrated this through his performance behind the plate, while Dominguez’s confidence shines brightly when he steps up to the plate.

Boone acknowledged that with all these guys, there would be bumps and growing pains along the way. However, he found it encouraging that they had handled themselves well in a challenging environment against a strong team.

The Yankees have put in efforts to ensure that Jasson Dominguez and Austin Wells feel at ease in the clubhouse during their initial days as Major Leaguers. However, both of them came with a natural, unspoken self-assuredness.

What do you think? Leave your comment below.

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One thought on “Jasson Dominguez’s Bronx debut sparks frenzy among Yankees fans

  1. Boone and Cashman both need to be fired, regardless of how well the team performs in the last few weeks of the season. These players should have been called up a long time ago.

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