Baseball America released its Top 100 international prospect signings of 2019, and the Mets have landed the best pitcher on that list in their eyes.
Venezuela's Robert Dominguez is a very intriguing prospect with a fun backstory to read. At 6-foot-4, 200 pounds, you'd think Dominguez was this hard-throwing righty that would blow away his opponents. However, it wasn't until recently that he tapped into his full potential.
Dominguez was able to sign with a major league team in 2018 after turning 18 on Nov. 30 of last year. But he decided to wait and continue maturing in his game. It was the best move, as he was beginning to throw 93 mph by the summer, and teams started tossing offers his way.
Still, Dominguez remained patient, and moved to the Dominican Republic to train for two months. Add four more miles per hour to that fastball and he was consistently throwing 97. The Mets eventually signed him, and then he went to the Dominican instructional league and topped out at 99 mph.
Only two United States prospects at his age have done that, including the No. 1 overall prospect in Texas high-schooler Jared Kelley.
"That doesn't mean Dominguez is at that level of pitcher, but his fastball stacks up among the best in the world for his age," the publication wrote. "He has a strong, durable frame and shows feel for a breaking ball with late diving action that flashes as an average pitch with a chance to be better and develop into a true out pitch..."
We've all seen what the Mets' system can do with homegrown pitching talent, with the likes of Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, and Steven Matz all coming up through their ranks. Dominguez still has room to grow, which will be interesting to watch.
To read more about Dominguez and see the rest of the international prospect signings list, click here.