Talent plus youth equals big payday

We know that Major League Baseball players make a boatload of money, right?

Consider that at least 10 players are making $100 million or more because they can hit, pitch, or field a baseball.

In the five months since free agency began last year, teams committed to around $4 billion in future salaries to players.

Mike Trout is getting upward of $430 million, Bryce Harper $330 million, Manny Machado $300 million and Nolan Arenado $260 million. ESPN.com writer Jeff Passan wrote: “If you play every day, you’re great and you’re in your 20s, you’re going to get at least $250 million.”

While these salaries are the exception and not the rule, it’s fair to say that anyone who plays Major League Baseball shouldn’t have to wonder where his next meal is coming from.

Extremely young and talented athletes should easily find the goose that lays the golden egg.

Have you heard of Jasson Dominguez? Well, I hadn’t either until recently. After all, he’s only 16 years old and plays center field in the Dominican Republic. A deal was expected to be formalized with the New York Yankees that includes a $5 million signing bonus.

Evaluating talent isn’t an exact science, so it will be interesting to see if this teenager can live up to the already-growing hype.

According to Passan, nearly every description begins with a caveat that goes something like: “I know this sounds crazy, but …”

One general manager who has seen the kid play said, “he’s like (Mike) Trout. And Trout wasn’t close to this good when he was 16.”

Dominguez is not quite 6 foot. He’s a switch-hitter with crazy power and speed. He’s already being compared to Mickey Mantle in his prime. For those not old enough to remember or know who Mantle is, that’s very good company.

Today, Dominguez is 5-foot-11 and 195 pounds, the exact measurements Mantle was listed at during his playing days. Talk about eerily similar.

Dominguez has distinguished himself on raw numbers. He regularly reaches upward of 110 mph exit velocities swinging from both sides of the plate. Only 28 major leaguers have hit a ball 110 mph at least 10 times this season.

Two scouts said the young phenom has clocked around 6.3 seconds in the 60-yard dash. Passan says that’s faster than Mo Hampton, arguably the best athlete in the MLB draft class of 2019, who decided instead to play cornerback at LSU this year.

Actually, there’s a logical reason why the Yankees had the inside track on signing Dominguez. His dad and mom, Felix and Dorca settled on the name Jasson, like Jason Giambi. Yes, Felix Dominguez, an enormous Yankees fan, really named his son after Jason Giambi, and, yes, that second “s” really is superfluous and it’s pronounced Jason.

Someone has called the 16-year-old El Marciano, and the nickname stuck. The Martian, it meant. Because there was no way he was from this world, wrote Passan.

Dominguez won’t be able to share his talent in America until next year, as 16-year-olds don’t play the season they sign their contract.

It will be fun to see if this young talent can live anywhere close to the hype.

For now, baseball fans, and Yankee fans in particular, must wait. As Passan wrote: “The good news is that now they have plenty of time to prepare themselves for something they’ll believe only when they see. Orson Welles was right after all. The Martian is coming.”