The Milwaukee Brewers nabbed Aramis Ramirez‘s replacement Tuesday as they acquired former Houston Astros third baseman Matt Dominguez off waivers. Dominguez was outrighted to Triple-A, but odds are, he’ll be on Milwaukee’s 25-man roster before long.
But who is Matt Dominguez?
Dominguez, 25, was the 12th overall pick in the 2007 draft by the Florida Marlins; however, he never lived up to his billing. Over 357 major-league games and 1357 plate appearances, Dominguez owns a .285 wOBA and a 78 wRC+. His on-base percentage also sits below the .300 mark. He’s suffered from an unusually low BABIP throughout his short career and doesn’t walk (2.1 BB% in AAA this season). The only positive offensive aspect of his game going for Dominguez is his power. He has 42 career home runs and an isolated power of .141, including a .162 ISO in 2013.
There was, at one point, a rumor of Dominguez signing a five-year extension with Houston, but obviously that never came to fruition. To get a better picture of how far he’s fallen, Dominguez has spent the entire season in the minors where he’s been — surprise — a below-average hitter.
Dominguez is actually OK at third base. In 2013, he saved eight defensive runs above average, which was almost worth one win. His defense wasn’t nearly as dominant the following season, but the evidence is there that he can be at least solid.
This signing was a no-brainer for the Brewers. Ramirez will most likely be gone at some point this season, but for certain in 2016 when he retires. There are signs that Dominguez could still turn his career around. If you look at his batted ball velocity, you can see that he hits the ball with a good deal of velocity more often than not. Dominguez has a career 53.3 Med% (percentage of balls in play that were classified as hit with medium speed). While that still isn’t considered great and his hard-hit rate isn’t anything special either, it’s better than hitting the ball softly.
Dominguez is a low-risk/high-reward player, and someone who will fill in while Milwaukee rebuilds their brand.