Yankees top prospect Jasson Domínguez homers off Justin Verlander in 1st MLB at-bat

New York Yankees' Jasson Dominguez runs the bases after hitting a two-run home run against the Houston Astros in his first at-bat in the majors, in the first inning of a baseball game Friday, Sept. 1, 2023, in Houston. (AP Photo/Kevin M. Cox)

Jasson Domínguez’s Yankees career is off to a good start. (AP Photo/Kevin M. Cox)

After years of anticipation, New York Yankees top prospect Jasson Domínguez — nicknamed “The Martian” — has landed. He made his first MLB at-bat worth the wait.

In his MLB debut on Friday, Domínguez hit an opposite-field, two-run homer off Houston Astros ace Justin Verlander to give the Yankees a 3-0 lead. Per MLB, the homer traveled 360 feet with a 100.2 mph exit velocity.

Domínguez’s family was on hand for the occasion and was caught freaking out as the ball hit the left-field stands at Minute Maid Park:

Expectations have been high for Domínguez, almost unfairly so, since he signed for a franchise-record $5.1 million signing bonus as an international free agent in 2019. Considered one of the most hyped international amateur prospects ever, the 20-year-old switch-hitter has worked his way through the minors over the last four years, earning his call-up Friday on the first day of MLB roster expansion.

MLB Pipeline currently has Domínguez as the No. 77 overall prospect in baseball and the No. 2 Yankees prospect. His minor-league stats — a .266/.372/.431 line with 36 homers and 86 steals in 295 total games— haven’t quite been in the usual elite prospect territory, but his youth and tools provide plenty of reason for hope he can be a star in New York. MLB Pipeline as all five of his tools as MLB average or better.

Domínguez will get plenty of opportunity to show he belongs. Yankees manager Aaron Boone told reporters before the game he will take over as the team’s starting center fielder, replacing the publicly waived Harrison Bader.

With the 65-69 Yankees languishing in last place in the AL East and 10.5 games out of a wild-card spot with a month to play, the team has plenty of reason to see what it can get from its young players. Catching prospect Austin Wells, the Yankees’ No. 10 prospect, was also called up Friday and will be playing “a lot” behind the plate, per Boone.

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