Dominguez will be the first player to participate in the game without having played in a full-season league.
The 18-year-old Dominican Republic native, nicknamed “The Martian,” has been hyped as the next big player set to take baseball by storm. New York signed him to a $ 5.1 million deal in July 2019. At the time, he was one of the best international prospects.
“I’ve always wanted to be a Yankee,” he told MLB.com in 2019. “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.”
He played in his first minor league game on Monday, according to NJ.com. He started in center field for the Yankees’ team in the Florida Complex League. However, he was 0-for-2 with a walk
Carlos Mendoza, the Yankees’ bench coach who went down to watch players like Dominguez, Gary Sanchez and Miguel Andujar in the offseason, told the New York Post last year he was excited by what he was seeing.
“We watched him hit and he looked good,” he said. “He was impressive for being 16 years old. He’s a strong kid with great bat speed and power. We only saw him take BP, but he was hitting balls with Gary and Miggy. He looks like one of them. For that age, he’s pretty advanced.”
Donny Rowland, the organization’s director of international scouting, told the newspaper he scouted Dominguez 50 times before the Yankees signed him. He said he saw the talent Dominguez possessed.
“The first time I saw him, the hairs on my arm stood up and my guys said it was just an OK day for him,” Rowland said. “He had huge power. His skills are silly. They’re stupid. They’re crazy.”
Dominguez will get his first big test in the Futures Game, which is set for July 11.