8. SS Mauricio Dubon
Acquired: Trade (2019, via MIL)
Future Value: 45
After signing out of high school for a $75,000 signing bonus by the Boston Red Sox as a 26th-round pick in 2013, Mauricio Dubon quickly took to pro ball.
He immediately showed great baseball instincts at the plate and in the field, and as his prospect status began to rise, he was traded to the Milwaukee Brewers alongside Travis Shaw for Tyler Thornburg.
Dubon has never walked a great deal, but he makes consistent contact. His lanky frame never seemed capable of generating much beyond doubles power, but once Triple-A adopted the juiced MLB balls, Dubon began generating extra-base hits.
Through 27 games with Milwaukee’s Triple-A affiliate in 2018, Dubon was slugging .574 with 15 extra-base hits. Then he tore his ACL during a rundown and lost the rest of his season to surgery and rehab. At the same time, Milwaukee’s first-round pick Keston Hiura skyrocketed through their system and by the time Dubon returned from his injury, Hiura had surpassed him as next in line for a spot in Milwaukee’s infield.
Early in the 2019 season, Dubon received a brief promotion, becoming the first Honduran-born MLB player in the MLB history in the process. However, he was demoted to Triple-A after just a couple of appearances.
At the trade deadline, the Brewers decided to trade from their middle infield surplus to acquire some bullpen help. The San Francisco Giants packaged Ray Black and Drew Pomeranz to bring Dubon into their system.
Dubon continued his strong play at Triple-A, and by the start of September, he was a mainstay in San Francisco’s starting lineup. He finished the season just a couple dozen plate appearances shy of losing his rookie eligibility, producing a solid .267/.302/.436 line along the way.
Advanced metrics were skeptical of a large amount of Dubon’s success. Especially his power output. According to Baseball Savant, the quality of contact Dubon made was expected to produce a .245/.280/.347 line, stats troublingly reminiscent of Johnnie LeMaster.
The offensive production remains the question because his glovework is so advanced. He’s always had incredibly soft hands and used his above-average athleticism well to cover a lot of ground at shortstop or second base. His arm is weak compared to current Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford, but it’s average for the position.
At worst, his defense and contact ability will make him a valuable utility player in the mold of Joaquin Arias. While most remain skeptical of the power output, if he can either increase his walk rate or maintain his power spike, he could be a solid starting shortstop for the San Francisco Giants.