BREW MATHs Takes an In-Depth Look at The Brewers #7 ranked prospect as he returns from ACL injury… Could he be Milwaukee’s best option at 2B?
Mauricio (“Maurice-ee-oh”) Dubon’s life has been anything but typical. After being born and raised in Honduras, he came to The U.S. as a 15-year-old on a Christian Mission Baseball Team. His family eventually settled in Sacramento where he would play high school baseball. While very talented, he also was short and rather slender. The skinny kid was drafted by Boston in 2013 (26th Round) as a project. To date, there has not been a major leaguer from his home country.
Dubon eventually found himself in Milwaukee as part of the following deal with The Red Sox (06/05/2017):
Tyler Thornburg FOR Travis Shaw / Josh Pennington / Mauricio Dubon
He started in Biloxi (AA) before graduating to Colorado Springs (AAA) in 2018. That’s when he began tearing the cover off the ball and all of his offensive numbers shot up. Just when it seemed he was about to get his big chance, the season ended abruptly with an ACL tear (05/08/17).
Since that time his rehab has progressed nicely and reports suggest he looks even stronger than before. BREW MATHs will analyze Dubon’s progress as a young Brewer…
First, let’s chart Dubon’s ‘contact stats’ that reflect overall hitting:
The rising colors make it easy to see that Dubon is consistently making strides in the batter’s box.
BABIP (Batting Average on Balls In Play) rises with wOBA (Weighted On-Base Average) in a very linear fashion. This is great news for Brewer Fans as it suggests his gains are real. Keep in mind, wOBA is one of the best single metrics to gauge a hitter’s overall performance. With a great enough sample size, BABIP can be thought of as a hitter’s ‘set point.’ More specifically, once a player hits 800PAs, it is very difficult to escape their baseline BABIP. When we see it increase over a large sample size (like with Dubon) it almost always implies rising talent level.
NOTE: Before his injury in 2018 Dubon had a wOBA of 0.392 which had him near the league lead
Batted ball stats help us peel back the next layer:
Dubon’s GB/FB Ratio has been consistently dropping as his minor league career progresses. Meaning each year he is able to put more balls into the air (line drives / fly balls) relative to the number of grounders.
At this point, the basis for hope expands… this guy seems to be getting better and the improvements do not seem to be a byproduct of chance or luck.
If this is all real, his power numbers should reflect the improvement:
Again, we see a pretty impressive linear rise across the board. Literally:
Each progressive year he is making more contact. The contact he is making is of higher quality. The improved contact leads to more balls being hit into the air at a greater velocity. The harder hit balls lead to more line drives, fly balls and home runs. This is how we get the steady rise in HR/FB%.
All very concrete and all very supported by our analysis.
Mauricio has put on muscle since joining the club and now stands at 6’0″ and 160#. His frame is filling out to compliment his talent level. Dubon’s numbers before he got hurt speak for themselves (0.343 / 0.348 / 0.574). Even after the ACL injury, he is considered the #7 prospect in The Brewer’s System.
As I write this, Dubon is on schedule… He’s hitting off a tee, taking grounders at second and running full speed. If he can continue making strides, the stats suggest he is a full-time Major Leaguer in the making. It also should be noted that Dubon’s base running & speed are approaching elite levels (120 SB/42CS over his minor league career).
While there are not many opportunities left on this talented Brewers’ roster, the kid from Honduras has a skill set that could benefit the team. And maybe sooner than anyone anticipated. Guys named Arcia and Saladino will surely have something to say about the matter, but no matter how you slice it…
Dubon has come a long way and seems to be built for the long haul. His rapid improvement last year may have been a glimpse of his true potential. Who will ultimately rise to the challenge in the middle infield remains to be seen.
But it should be fun to watch.
Categories: Farm Report
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