Matt Dominguez was one of the more pleasant surprises of the Houston Astros‘ 2013 season. He finished the season with a .241 average, but it was his power numbers that delivered the surprise. For a guy whose offensive production was always in question as a prospect, 21 home runs and 77 RBIs are impressive numbers. He ranked second on the team in both categories, only behind Chris Carter.
Dominguez’s defense lived up to, if not exceeded, expectations as well, as he was behind numerous web-gem plays at the hot corner. He’s turning into an all-around third baseman. His strikeout numbers weren’t terrible either, considering the team he was on, as he averaged a strikeout every 5.6 at-bats.While his .241 average may leave some room for doubt, keep in mind that he was acquired for his defense, not his offense, so while .241 isn’t the greatest average, it’s a lot better than everyone expected, especially when coupled with this power numbers. Also notable is that Dominguez hit his best in the last three months of the season, another telling stat is his line with the bases loaded. Dominguez hit .545 with two home runs and 20 RBIs with the bases loaded last year.
Dominguez was just as reliable at third as teammate Jose Altuve was at second. Every night, these were the two guys that everyone knew would be on the diamond on a team whose roster fluctuated on a daily basis.
Dominguez had a big year in 2014. He needs to prove that he can continue his power consistency and his defense, while also getting his average up to the .260 range. He’s already exceeded expectations, so there should be very little pressure. If he continues where he left off, a .265, 25 home run, 85 RBI season could be in store for the young third baseman.