Mauricio Dubon Draws Praise In First Big League Camp
Two things are immediately recognizable when watching shortstop Mauricio Dubon play—he has a lot of talent, and he loves the game.
In his first big league camp, Dubon impressed Brewers manager Craig Counsell on those counts.
"He’s a competitive kid” Counsell said. ". . . I’ve given him a couple of days off and he doesn’t like that. He wants to play. He wants the action. He’s at a stage of his career where this is really helpful for him.”
One of three prospects acquired along with third baseman Travis Shaw from the Red Sox at the 2016 Winter Meetings for reliever Tyler Thornburg, Dubon moved quickly to the top of the Brewers’ system last year.
He opened the season at Double-A Biloxi and spent the second half at Triple-A Colorado Springs, hitting .274/.330/.382 with eight home runs and 38 stolen bases in 129 games overall.
Now Dubon is one call away from the big leagues at age 23, which Counsell said was a plus for both player and organization.
"We have a young shortstop in Triple-A, and I’m excited about that,” Counsell said. "He’s got a little bit of everything in his game, and I think a little bit of everything can get a little better. He’s a young player who we’d certainly consider if we have something go wrong or an injury.”
The bad news for Dubon is that the Brewers already have a 23-year-old shortstop, Orlando Arcia, who began coming into his own in 2017 during his first full season in the majors. That roadblock likely would prevent Dubon from playing his natural position in Milwaukee, but he said he couldn’t worry about that at this stage.
"There are other infield spots, so you never know what will happen,” said Dubon, whom Boston drafted in the 26th round in 2013 out of high school in Sacramento. "I just try to do my work, and I actually try to learn from (Arcia) and pick his brain.”
Sharpest Tools In The Shed
We asked major league managers, scouts and executives to identify the best players in a variety of categories.
• Righthander Adrian Houser, who made it back on the field late in 2017 after recovering from Tommy John surgery, had an emergency appendectomy a couple of weeks before spring camp that put him behind other pitchers. He recovered in time to return to the mound before camp ended.
• Lefthander Josh Hader, who broke through as a multi-inning reliever with the Brewers, was experimenting with wearing contact lenses in spring camp in place of his trademark prescription goggles. "That’s what spring training is for—to work on things,” Hader quipped.