The Miami Marlins were able to bring in Doug Domnarski cheaply. He faces a long road to the show as a 27th round pick, but did everything right his first year.
The MLB Draft is a lottery no matter what round you’re selecting a prospect. Even with scouting better than it’s ever been, selecting a college baseball player is a projection three or four years into the future. A high school player can be as many as seven or eight years.
Once you’re into the later rounds, it’s a grab-bag. You’re looking for outstanding skills, something a player can build off to make himself viable. The Miami Marlins one of those skills in Doug Domnarski when they took him in the 27th round.
Domnarski has a long way to go, but his first year of professional baseball was everything you could have reasonably asked for out of the UConn lefty.
Standing at 5-foot-10, and weighing in at 170-pounds, Doug Domnarski isn’t going to overpower many batters. His fastball reaches the upper-80’s, and unless he’s able to add an additional five or six ticks on the radar gun, he won’t blow it by batters at higher levels of pro ball.
When the Miami Marlins drafted him, they saw a delivery that was repeated with regularity, and an ability to change speeds effectively. In the video below, Domnarski is able to run his fastball up to 88, and his breaking ball clocks in as low as 69.
A difference of 19-miles per hour is difficult to hit when it comes with the same arm action.
But changing speeds is only one part of the equation. For Domnarski to advance beyond the Gulf Coast League, he’ll need to develop better control. Eventually, he’ll need pinpoint command. The base-on-balls bugaboo is his biggest enemy right now.
Encouraging first year and projected role
Domnarski put up a great first season of professional baseball in the Miami Marlins system. Appearing in 14 games for the Gulf Coast League Marlins, he pitched to a 1.59 ERA and a .219 BAA. All of his appearances were out of the pen.
Despite his low earned run average, Domnarski had a hard time keeping runners off the base paths. His low ERA can be attributed in part to subpar defense behind him, as he allowed an additional three unearned runs to cross.
His 1.471 WHIP suggests greater struggles than his ERA would lead you to believe. Domnarski walked 11 batters in only 17 innings of work; a 12.5-percent walk rate. Domnarski will need to make big strides in this area will be expected in year two.
Doug Domnarski figures to be a situational lefty for his career. Of his 11 walks, only one was against a left-handed batter, and opposing hitters posted a meager .214/.267/.214 slash line against him.
If ever there was someone to be described as a “Randy Choate type”, you’re looking at him. That’s a compliment.