Coming over from the Miami Marlins in a trade that sent them Carlos Lee, Matt Dominguez has established himself as a very good third baseman for the Houston Astros at the major league level. He was known for his outstanding glove when he was traded to the Astros. His bat was said to be a few years behind his glove in terms of being ready for the majors. His bat is starting to catch up as he is turning into a solid power hitter at the hot corner.
Last season, Dominguez hit 20 home runs and drove in 77 runs for the Astros. It was his first full year as an everyday third baseman in the major leagues. He has 12 home runs and 43 RBIs at this point in the season, including one home run in today’s victory against the Chicago White Sox, 11-7. It would not be unreasonable to think that he can duplicate or surpass his numbers from last season. With these kind of numbers from a still-developing hitter, it looks as if the Astros have themselves a mainstay at third that has gold-glove caliber defense to go along with some power for the first time since Ken Caminiti.
At 24 years old, Dominguez is still improving as a hitter and has a lot of time left to establish himself before he is considered to have reached his ceiling. His average has been around .240, which is a little low, for most of the year. The Astros would like for him to improve that number to around .260-.270 while improving his power numbers slightly. With his defense, if Dominguez can project to be around a .265 hitter with 25-30 home runs a year, the Astros will have an All-Star third baseman for years to come.
The Astros are shaping up to have a very solid, young infield. Adding Dominguez in with Jose Altuve at second base, Jon Singleton at first base and, eventually, Carlos Correa at shortstop, the Astros infield will be formidable for a very long time. The rebuilding process is taking its time, but it is working in Houston.