The New York Mets love to play the international free-agent market and it seems they’ve found yet another steal in Robert Dominguez.
According to the staff at Baseball America, the New York Mets found the steal of the 2019 international free-agent class. Robert Dominguez came out of nowhere in 2019 to become a huge international prospect.
At 18, he’s older than the usual IFA signing. That’s one reason that most teams nearly completely disregarded him. When he started throwing 93 miles per hour, teams quickly became interested. He received a number of $10,000 offers, the IFA minimum, but declined them all.
Instead, he opted to leave his native Venezuela and head to the Dominican Republic to advance his game. Just two months later, Dominguez was touching 97 mph with his fastball. It was then that Dominguez signed with the Mets.
He stayed in the Dominican Republic and worked in the Mets complex. By the end of the season, he was throwing 97 with regularity and is now touching as high as 99 mph.
Obviously, age is one thing to be worried about with Dominguez, but it’s no different than taking a 19-year-old draft pick out of high school—something the Mets did in the first round of the 2018 and 2019 drafts.
If Dominguez showcases the elite stuff he has started to show, he could be an elite talent. That’s why Baseball America ranked him as the best pitcher from the 2019 IFA class at this point and their 11th best prospect from the class.
This find like many in recent years can likely be attributed to Omar Minaya and Tommy Tanous. Minaya came back to the team in 2017 and has overseen the scouting department since. Tanous is the Mets’ vice president of scouting. He’s in charge of the day to day operations and scouting both amateur and international.
Since they took over at the top of the Mets scouting department in 2017, the team has signed Dominguez, Francisco Alvarez, Freddy Valdez and Alex Ramirez. All four are top prospects in the Mets system. Alvarez is a top 100 prospect in baseball.