Mauricio Dubon: Giants 2020 Rookie Of The Year
Mauricio Dubon’s rookie season with the Giants resembled his team’s season: surprising, disappointing and encouraging.
The Giants, who weren’t expected to contend in 2020, used an improved offense to stay in the National League wild card race until the final day, but losses in their last three games left the Giants one win shy of a postseason berth.
Dubon, who had been a middle infielder and was expected to be a super-utility player, became San Francisco’s everyday center fielder in mid August. The 26-year-old hit a solid .274/.337/.389 in 54 games but made some critical mistakes, particularly on the basepaths.
Still, considering the improvements he made at the plate and in the outfield, 2020 should be considered a success for Dubon, who was originally drafted in the 26th round by the Red Sox out of high school in 2013.
“We’re really pleased with the progress that Mauricio has made,” Giants manager Gabe Kapler said during a Zoom news conference in the final week of the regular season.
The Giants acquired Dubon from the Brewers at the 2019 trade deadline as part of the Drew Pomeranz deal.
Early in the 2020 season, Dubon split his time evenly between center field, shortstop and second base. From Aug. 16 through the end of the season, he played exclusively center.
Dubon “naturally gets good jumps and reads,” Kapler said. “He has naturally good technique.”
Kapler listed areas in the field, on the bases and at the plate in which Dubon needs to improve, from consistently hitting the cutoff man, to defense near the wall, to basestealing (he had two steals in five attempts) and pitch selection.
“He’s actually shown stretches of (proficiency in) all of them,” Kapler said, “but they haven’t been as dependable as they will be after he’s gotten more experience under his belt and seen this game from a number of different angles.”
Listed at 6 feet, 173 pounds, Dubon is a native of Honduras who went to high school in Sacramento.
Kapler appreciates Dubon’s “willingness to listen, to ask questions. Mauricio has aptitude, and he is hungry for knowledge and has a drive to improve.”
— Other Giants rookies of note included catchers Joey Bart (.233 in 103 at-bats) and Chadwick Tromp (.213, four homers in 61 at-bats), righthander Logan Webb (3-4, 5.47 ERA) and relievers Caleb Baragar (5-1, 4.03 ERA in 22.1 innings), Tyler Rogers (3-3, three saves, 4.50 ERA) and Sam Selman (1-1, one save, 3.72 ERA, 23 strikeouts in 19.2 innings).