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South Side Sox Top Prospect No. 62: Johan Dominguez

This righty made a major leap up in the organization in 2021.

Whether his late-season struggles were sheer fatigue, or hitting his ceiling, Johan Dominguez is on the map for the White Sox in 2022.

Johan Dominguez

Right-Handed Starting Pitcher
190 pounds
Age: 26
2020 SSHP Top Prospect Ranking: 48
2021 SSS Top Prospect Ranking: 45
SSS rank among all right-handed starting pitchers in the system: 13

Johan Dominguez, a Dominican native, has pitched exceptionally well since signing a minor league contract with the Milwaukee Brewers on May 8, 2016, as a 20-year-old. Even though he pitched well for the Brewers DSL squad, with a 2.91 ERA combined over three years, it wasn’t until his third year that he finally earned a promotion to their AZL squad (June 24, 2018). Once Stateside, Dominguez dominated the AZL in his 15 outings, posting a 0.00 ERA and 0.62 WHIP over 19 1⁄3 innings of relief.

Shortly after yet another promotion, to Milwaukee’s Pioneer League affiliate in Helena, Dominguez was traded along with outfielder Bryan Connell to the White Sox for southpaw reliever Xavier Cedeño during that year’s August trade deadline. After the trade, Dominguez pitched two scoreless innings in the White Sox system while striking out four, pitching for his fourth team of 2018.

In 2019, his first year pitching in a full-season league, Dominguez certainly held his own. While he had pitched almost exclusively out of the bullpen in his first three years of professional ball, Dominguez was used primarily as a starter in 2019. Because his career high in innings was 58 1⁄3 to that point, Kannapolis limited his workload and even inserted him into the bullpen from time to time to keep him from doing any damage to his arm. In 90 2⁄3 innings for the Intimidators spanning 24 outings (15 starts), Dominguez posted a rock-solid 2.98 ERA and 1.28 WHIP by relinquishing 83 hits (.239 OBA) and 33 walks (8.5%) while fanning 90 (23.1%). He allowed just two homers, which is quite an impressive figure even when taking into account that Dominguez was pitching in a pitcher’s ballpark.

Fast forward to 2021, after the lost 2020 season. In 15 starts with Winston-Salem, Dominguez posted a 4.80 ERA but solid 1.14 WHIP in 65 2⁄3 innings by allowing 58 hits and 17 walks while striking out 74. Dominguez was promoted on August 10 to Birmingham, where he pitched to a 4.33 ERA and 1.27 WHIP in seven starts. In his 35 1⁄3 innings for the Barons, he relinquished 37 hits and eight walks while fanning 40. Finally, he was promoted on September 22 to Charlotte, where he struggled badly with a 16.50 and 2.17 WHIP in two starts totaling six innings, Combined with all three teams, Dominguez contributed a 5.30 ERA but respectable 1.27 WHIP in 24 starts as he meted out 107 hits (.258 OBA) and just 26 walks (2.2 BB/9) while striking out 118 (9.9 K/9) in his 107 innings of work.

Dominguez’s work wasn’t quite done in 2021 however. In six outings (five starts) for the Glendale Desert Dogs in the Arizona Fall League, he continued his late-season struggles in posting an 11.25 ERA and 2.58 WHIP in 12 innings, with 24 hits, seven walks and 14 strikeouts.

Dominguez’s struggles with Charlotte and Glendale could simply have to do with fatigue at the end of a long season, or it could be he was just a victim of the ballparks he pitched in. Or perhaps he’s reached his proverbial ceiling, as he struggles more and more against better competition.

Dominguez has provided great K/BB ratios during his career, but he was much more hittable in 2021. He easily exceeded his career high in innings, not even including the AFL, so perhaps it was fatigue that bit him at the end of the season. Dominguez’s numbers seem to indicate he’s more about control than command, and those are the types of guys who get hit around in advanced leagues. He may eventually be better suited in the bullpen, where hitters can just get one look at him during the course of a game.

Dominguez is likely to return to Charlotte for 2022.

2022 South Side Sox Top 100 White Sox Prospects

62. Johan Dominguez, RHSP
63. Jagger Rusconi, 2B
64. Ronaldo Guzman, LHSP
65. Laz Rivera, 3B
66. Adam Hackenberg, C
67. Will Kincanon, RHRP
68. Lane Ramsey, RHRP
69. Tommy Sommer, LHSP
70. Randel Mondesi, RF
71. Shawn Goosenberg, 2B
72. Zack Muckenhirn, LHRP
73. Cameron Butler, CF
74. Godwin Bennett, RF
75. Logan Glass, CF
76. Dario Borrero, 1B
77. Craig Dedelow, RF
78. Carlos Hinestroza, RHRP
79. Gunnar Troutwine, C
80. Kade Mechals, RHSP
81: Caberea Weaver, CF
82. Layant Tapia, SS
83. Homer Cruz, RHRP
84. Kaleb Roper, RHSP
85. Jerry Burke, RHSP
86. Emerson Talavera, RHRP
87. Isaiah Carranza, RHSP
88. Davis Martin, RHSP
89. Tyler Osik, 1B
90. Samil Polanco, 3B
91. Manuel Veloz, RHRP
92. Pauly Milto, RHRP
93. Fraser Ellard, LHRP
94. Colby Smelley, C
95. Manuel Guariman, C
96. Everhett Hazelwood, RHRP
97. Garrett Schoenle, LHRP
98. Kyle Kubat, LHRP
99. Anderson Comas, RF
100. Jake Elliott, RHRP