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Matt Dominguez has "no hard feelings" for Marlins

JUPITER -- Remember Matt Dominguez? Remember the California high school star the Marlins took with the 12th overall pick in the 2007 draft, one round before they grabbed Giancarlo Stanton? Remember how Dominguez was to be their third baseman of the future?

DominguezOnly that future never panned out with the Marlins. It has for the Houston Astros, who acquired Dominguez from the Marlins in a July 4, 2012, trade for a second-half rental, Carlos Lee, that is not looking very good at the moment.

While the Marlins continue to search for an everyday third baseman (Placido Polanco, Casey McGehee) and used yet another first-round draft pick on one (Colin Moran), Dominguez is finally showing what he can do -- what the Marlins always felt he could do -- in Houston.

Dominguez is the first to admit he never could get his bat going with the Marlins. He hit a pedestrian .252 with 62 home runs over six minor league seasons with the Marlins.

"Everybody knew my glove was ahead of my bat, and I'm still working really hard to become a better hitter," he said.

Something must be working.

In 152 games last season for the Astros, Dominguez hit 21 home runs and drove in 77 to go with a .241 average. (or three fewer homers and 15 more RBI than Stanton put up for the Marlins last season). In the second half of 2012, after the Astros obtained him, he hit .284 in 31 games.

"I just think it's the change of scenery and confidence that contributed (to the success)," Dominguez said.

Dominguez acknowledged that he lost much of his confidence while coming up through the Marlins farm system, an eroding confidence that wasn't helped any when the Marlins signed Jose Reyes, moved Hanley Ramirez to third, and made Dominguez expendable.

"I don't want to say they gave up on me because, honestly, I don't know what they were thinking," Dominguez said of the Marlins' decision to trade him. "But they thought the trade was in their best interests and decided to give me up, and it's worked out for me. I have no hard feelings."

Dominguez attibuted part of his improvement to working with Leon Roberts, a minor league hitting coach in the Astros' farm system. Dominguez said there were no mechanical changes to his swing. But he said that Roberts worked on his mental approach.

"He was a big guy on the mental approach, getting good pitches to hit, and realizing what pitchers are trying to do," he said.

Looking back, Dominguez said he understands the Marlins' decision to trade him, and isn't bothered by it.

"They didn't know I would turn around and hit like that after I got traded," he said. "It's a crazy game. Just little things can help you a lot. They got a good player in Carlos Lee. They thought it was a move they had to make, so I can't fault them for that."

Dominguez did offer some simple advice for Moran, the Marlins' next third baseman of the future.

"You're going to get a lot of advice from a lot of different people, and you have to pick and choose who to listen to and who not to listen to," Dominguez said. "Don't forget, when you're young, how fun it was. Just go out and play the game without worrying so much the mechanical side or things you can't control."

Dominguez is town with the Astros, who are visiting the Marlins this afternoon. He is batting clean up.

TODAY'S LINEUPS IN JUPITER:

Houston: 1. Robbie Grossman, lf; 2. Jonathan Villar, ss; 3. Marc Krauss, dh; 4. Matt Dominguez, 3b; 5. Brett Wallace, 1b; 6. George Springer, cf; 7. J.D. Martinez, rf; 8. Max Stassi, c; 9. Gregorio Petit, 2b. Pitching: Dallas Keuchel.

Miami: 1. Rafael Furcal, 2b; 2. Christian Yelich, lf; 3. Giancarlo Stanton, rf; 4. Garrett Jones, 1b; 5. Jeff Baker, dh; 6. Casey McGehee, 3b; 7. Jake Marisnick, cf; 8. Adeiny Hechavarria, ss; 9. Jeff Mathis, c. Pitching: Jacob Turner.

Comments

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Flav C.

I wish Matt all the best. He's a great kid with a promising future. I had the opportunity to talk to him a few times at the Roger Dean and always very humble.

Go gogo

Don't sweat it Matt, making dumd trades is in our DNA...just go check on some guy named Miguelito, that would defenetly make you feel better

Dionysus Thelxinoe

Defenetly have to agree, go cube.

the Truth

No hard feelings? Matty D should be jumping for joy,the day he got out of this pieceofshit organization. Stanton will be doing the joy jump next.

C. Ross

Lomo will have a big year in Seattle and the Marlins , once again, will look like the inept azzholes they are for yet another bad move.

Stan M

Any "regrets" should be on he Marlin's side. Not only was it a horrible trade, but it had ramifications in the team's future dealings. Nothing wrong with Moran, but I wonder who the team would have drafted in his place if we still had Dominguez for 3B. Could have filed a hole at 2B or catcher if a top prospect was available.

MLB.com just posted the teams top 20 prospects. An as usual, Keys get little respect. Whereas the Marlins now rate him #9, MLB had him much lower. I think they also underrate Wittgren. Time will tell.

Flav C.

Stan, couldn't agree more with you on everything: The "horrible trade", its ramifications, and the "little respect" for Keys.

To me, the interesting aspect of Brent Keys is that, if this kid continue hitting and getting on-base they way he's been doing over the last 2-3 minor league seasons, the Marlins not only would have an ideal lead-off hitter: they would also have a great LF (better than Yelich) and would have a great alternative to fix the 1B issue once and for all by moving Yelich to play that right infield corner.

Could this be called a "win-win" situation?

Former Season Tckt Holder

When will that glorious day come when that scumbag Loria sells the team and make Marlins fans as happy as a World Series win?

ware adams

The story of Dominguez presents an accurate microcosm of what’s wrong with the Marlins: it begins and ends with the character of Luria: a trader in art and junk art (source of his ‘wealth’?)—he and his front office look at players as pieces on a chessboard. They are expendable if they don’t produce, but the environment and atmosphere stifle development and stunt players attitude.

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