2. ⚾️ Finally, a mythical athlete
In the age of social media, the cameras are always rolling and athletes begin building their "personal brands" as early as middle school.
- It's empowering, I suppose, to give kids that kind of platform. And while I'm fearful of what this "me, me, me" culture might do to young athletes, I can't deny that I thoroughly enjoyed watching a 14-year-old Zion Williamson throw down viral dunks, knowing that one day he'd be starring in the NBA.
- The downside, of course, is that all the mystery is gone. 20 years ago, we'd hear rumblings about the next big thing. Now, we follow them on social media, where we quickly learn that they're fairly normal. There are no more urban legends; no Bo Jackson-esque myths.
Or so I thought...
Driving the news: Today is the first day MLB teams can sign international amateurs, which means today is the day the Yankees will sign Jasson Dominguez, a 16-year-old center fielder who might be the best baseball prospect ever.
- In his native Dominican Republic, they call him "El Marciano," which means "The Martian," because there's no way he is from this world.
- "He's like [Mike] Trout. And Trout wasn't close to this good when he was 16," said one GM who saw him play. "It's like Mickey Mantle," said another. "He's a switch-hitter. He's got crazy power. He's fast as s---."
By the numbers:
- Power: Dominguez regularly hits 110 mph exit velocities swinging from both sides of the plate. Only 28 major leaguers have hit a ball that fast at least 10 times this season. Again, he's 16.
- Speed: Dominguez runs the 60-yard dash in 6.3 seconds. "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," writes ESPN's Jeff Passan.
Best part: Outside of a few random videos of his majestic swing, there's zero footage of Dominguez on the internet. He has an Instagram account but barely any followers.
- The mystery is enthralling, and so instead of sharing a photo of what Dominguez looks like, I opted to keep the mythical nature of his story intact and let you marinate in it a little bit. We're out of time now, though, so I'll get to the big reveal...
What do you think "The Martian" looks like? Scroll to the bottom to find out...