Astros Righthander Shawn Dubin On Precipice Of MLB Debut
Shawn Dubin’s journey deserves a movie script. The righthander preferred playing soccer and shortstop in high school, attended four colleges and almost gave up baseball.
The Astros drafted Dubin in the 13th round in 2018. He signed for just $1,000. Four years and 189.2 minor league innings later, Dubin is on the precipice of his MLB debut. Houston added him to the 40-man roster in November to protect him from the Rule 5 draft.
This season he could be a big league bullpen option.
Elbow inflammation limited Dubin to 49.2 innings with Triple-A Sugar Land in 2021, but he struck out 69 batters while walking just 19. His four-seam fastball sits in the upper 90s and is complemented by a slider that’s among the organization’s best breaking pitches.
Dubin learned the grip from a longtime high school coach in his hometown of Allegany, N.Y. He didn’t pitch until the summer before enrolling at nearby Jamestown Community College. He left school after one semester, started work as a contractor and seemed close to giving up baseball.
A friend persuaded Dubin to try out for SUNY Erie CC in 2015. He made the team after one bullpen session in front of coaches. Dubin spent a season there before two more at Buffalo.
The school disbanded its baseball program during Dubin’s junior season. He went undrafted that summer and again appeared at a dead end.
Dubin reunited with a former Buffalo coach at Georgetown College, an NAIA school in Kentucky where he had one semester to showcase his stuff. He struck out 128 and walked 18 in 94.2 innings.
The Astros took a chance that June. The 26-year-old has added 30 pounds on his generously listed 6-foot-1 frame since his selection. He worked with Astros coaches to make his delivery much more efficient and compact after deploying a whippy, long stride throughout his college career.
Dubin has a high-spin curveball and recently developed a cutter to round out a four-pitch mix, maintaining some hope he can be a starter, but his path to immediate major league time may be in short spurts out of the bullpen.
— The Astros officially announced the hire of Sara Goodrum as their new farm director. Goodrum, who served as the Brewers' minor league hitting coordinator last season, is believed to be the first female player development director in baseball history.
— Houston general manager James Click hired two new assistant general managers—Scott Powers and Andrew Ball—to go along with Pete Putila. Powers will focus primarily on research and development while Ball’s priorities are on the major league roster.