JUPITER, Fla -- There have been talks this week between the Houston Astros and third baseman Matt Dominguez about a contract extension that would take him through nearly the rest of his 20's.
While multiple reports have contradicted themselves as to whether or not it is actually going to happen, it does show that Dominguez has finally reached his potential, even though it's with another team.
Truth be told, the 24-year-old Cuban decent was supposed to be the Miami Marlins' third baseman. He was drafted out of high school in the first round to a place where he had close ties to.
"My dad was born there," Dominguez said, "lived there until he was 12. Big Cuban population down there so it was pretty exciting, though I don’t speak Spanish and I know I don’t look Cuban."
The scouting reports on Dominguez has always been good with the glove but bad with the bat. In 165 AAA games Dominguez was hitting .247/.302/.396. He was given a chance in 2011 to show the Marlins something in the last month of the season but he went 11 for 45 with just two runs batted in.
When 2012 came around and the Marlins were going through a transformation as a franchise , Dominguez was left out and eventually traded to the Astros for Carlos Lee. At the time it seemed like the Marlins weren't really giving much up, but while with the Astros, Dominguez developed a Jedi like approach to hitting.
"Once you start thinking mechanics when you’re in the batters box, you’re screwed," Dominguez said. "Just get one good thought in your head and have a good approach and get a good pitch to hit and hope things will take care of itself."
It prompt the Astros to trade incumbent third baseman Chris Johnson to Arizona in 2012 and a .284 batting average in 109 games earned him the keys to the hot corner for 2013, a season in which he used the force to the tune of 21 home runs, 77 RBIs while under 100 strikeouts despite hitting .241/.286/.403.
Dominguez said he stayed in Houston during the offseason to work with the team's strength & conditioning coach to work extensively on power lifting to improve lower body strength as well as agility drills. The offseason work should lead to bigger things for the former Marlins prospect.
As to the Jedi reference: one of the main principals is patience. When it came to Dominguez, the Marlins probably should have practiced more of it.