Watching Jose Dominguez’s Fastball
The old parlance is you can tell a lot about a pitch by how batters react to it. Based on how some quality hitters behaved when faced with Jose Dominguez’s fastball last season, his heater will become one of the best pitches on the staff once he arrives in St. Pete.
Let’s look at a few examples of Dominguez overpowering quality hitters from an early April outing against the eventual World Series champion Giants.
Here’s a 1-1 pitch to Hunter Pence:
The catcher, A.J. Ellis, wanted that pitch down and at the knees. Dominguez elevated it anyway, but Pence is too late to do anything. Ellis desired that down and in location again on the subsequent two-strike offering, yet Dominguez once more missed his spot by the plate’s width:
Later in the same outing against Buster Posey, Dominguez showed why the temptation fastball above the zone is going to be a weapon for him. Ellis sets up down and away with an 0-1 count, only to have Dominguez miss high:
Ellis did the same thing on the next two pitches—Dominguez actually located down there on the first try, though it was called a ball—before repeating the above image:
Last one. Here’s Dominguez intentionally throwing a fastball up and away on an 0-2 count versus Brandon Belt—Ellis’ sign was literally a thumbs-up:
Obviously you’d like to see Dominguez improve the command over his pitches, and there’s always the risk he’s going to miss in the wrong location to the wrong hitter. But the above images should add credence to the idea that Dominguez’s fastball is good enough to overcome some sloppy geography.