Kevin Reese, the Yankees’ vice president of player development, has described the hype and expectations surrounding outfield prospect Jasson Dominguez as on a “completely different level” than any other amateur player that the team has signed.

That is partly because Dominguez was given a $5.1 million signing bonus in 2019; his nickname is “The Martian” because his baseball talent is considered to be otherworldly. Last season, Dominguez showed why he’s considered to be one of the best prospects in baseball. After spending the regular season in Class-A ball, he got promoted just before the Double-A playoffs, where he hit .450/.560/.950 with three home runs, 10 RBI and five walks in five games. In the championship game, Dominguez finished 3-for-4, homered from both sides of the plate and knocked in six runs. Altogether in 2022, Dominguez hit 16 homers, stole 37 bases and finished with an OPS of .837.

Dominguez likely still has at least two more years until he’s ready for the majors. But the Yankees believe that if he keeps on his current trajectory, he could somehow reach the lofty expectations that were placed upon him as a 16-year-old.

“We certainly thought so given his ability at his age when we signed him,” said Donny Rowland, the Yankees’ international director of amateur scouting. “We gave him a significant signing bonus because of that. When he was being showcased as an amateur down here (in the Dominican Republic), the tools were pretty much off the charts across the board. He has to maintain those tools. He can’t lose any of them. If he doesn’t and continues to progress and continues performing, with the tools he has, he can certainly be a cornerstone player. That’s what we saw when we signed him.”

Dominguez will likely start the upcoming year in Double A because he played in only 10 total games at that level. But the Yankees were encouraged by his development in 2022 after his first professional season in 2021, when he was 18 and his opponents in the Florida Complex League were usually in their early 20s.