JUPITER, Fla. (CBS4) – The Florida Marlins have a pretty big hole at third base as Spring Training continues in Jupiter, Florida. But that doesn’t mean that the Marlins don’t have a plan, namely, rookie Matt Dominguez.
The Marlins are hoping that Dominguez can be the third-baseman of the future and he’s considered one of the Marlins’ top priorities in spring training. But, he still is a rookie, and that means nothing is guaranteed to Dominguez.
He has a career average of .257 in four minor-league seasons and batted .252 last year with AA Jacksonville. His uniform number, 78, also reiterates the fact that he hasn’t won a spot on the big league roster just yet.
His glove work may just be enough to get him into the lineup. The Marlins have consistently had one of the worst fielding teams in the past few years, but Dominguez could give the Marlins the best player at third base since Mike Lowell was in town.
“There’s a consensus Matt’s an above-average defender,” president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest said. “He can really play the field. We’ve talked for three years that as soon as the bat is ready he’ll be in the big leagues, because the defense has been ready almost since day one.”
So far in Spring Training, Dominguez is hitting .308 with six RBI’s.
“We’re very encouraged by what we’ve seen so far,” Marlins manager Edwin Rodriguez said. “He’s taking very good at-bats and has been handling everything very well, and his defense is what we expected. He’s playing like he belongs here.”