Dominguez impresses Marlins owner

Dominguez impresses Marlins owner

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- When you are a highly-rated prospect, you never know who might be watching you.

Recently, in a Minor League game on a back field at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter, Matt Dominguez smacked a home run in a routine practice game against Cardinals' farmhands.

Unknowingly to Dominguez , Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria was observing.

"I had no clue he was there," Dominguez said.

Actually, Loria was checking out a number of prospects that day. He was watching 6-foot-8 left-hander Sean West throwing impressively off the mound. After beaming at West's performance, the team owner asked where Dominguez was.

As if on cue, when Loria turned to see Dominguez, the 18-year-old promptly delivered a homer.

Matt Dominguez may not be a household name yet. In a few years he should be.

The Marlins first-round pick last year, Dominguez is a highly-rated third-base prospect out of Chatsworth High School in the Los Angeles area. Dominguez incidentally attended the same Southern California high school as Larry Beinfest, the Marlins president of baseball operations.

Defensively, Dominguez has drawn comparisons to Ryan Zimmerman of the Nationals.

Offensively, he is a complete hitter with power potential. At 6-foot-2, he has gained about 15 pounds since being drafted. His weight has risen to 200.

"The biggest difference here is the pitchers throw harder than high school," Dominguez said. "And they throw three or so pitches for strikes."

Dominguez is making the adjustments. He will likely open the season at either the Gulf Coast League or short season Class A Jamestown.

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.