Back in May, Milwaukee Brewers infield prospect Mauricio Dubon went down with an ACL injury, putting an end to a very impressive beginning to his season in Triple-A. At that point in time, Dubon held a whopping 23-game hitting streak and was potentially on his way to a major league promotion.
The 24-year-old played in 27 games for Triple-A Colorado Springs, posting 37 hits, four home runs, .922 OPS, .343 batting average, and six stolen bases. He’s a guy who can hit near the top of the lineup, get on base often, and is a solid base runner that will score a lot of runs for the big hitters.
Defensively, Dubon played 23 of those 27 games at shortstop, with the other four at second base. He also has some experience in the outfield, but only a few innings worth back in 2016. He most likely will not be asked to go out there in the future.
Dubon has been working to come back from that injury and he and GM David Stearns both say that he should be a full go for spring training, but the injury and not being able to compete was tough for him. “I couldn’t believe it,” Dubon said. “Everything was going good, everything was working.”
Despite the disappointment of the injury, though, Dubon said that the recovery process gave him time to work on himself both mentally and physically, as well as giving him more motivation to come back and prove people wrong.
In terms of how Dubon projects to the major leagues, he believes he can be a key contributor to this team. “I’m a complete baseball player,” he said. “I want to win, and I can help the team with baserunning, hitting and playing defense.”
Having the experience of spring training was a big help for Dubon, as it gave him time to work with the major league players and learn from them. Specifically, he said Jesus Aguilar and Hernan Perez were helpful to him.
He talked about how he asked Aguilar a lot about tips on hitting, and then he asked Perez if he could personally work with him because he views him as someone who gets down to business, and knows what it takes to be a consistent big leaguer.
Dubon will look forward to getting back to spring training and having more time to work with the major leaguers, and he will have to be able to show what he can do and make an impression to instill that he is deserving of a major league spot at some point in the 2019 season.
A Crowded Infield
Part of the situation is that along with Dubon, the #1 prospect in the Milwaukee Brewers system is at second base in Keston Hiura, along with the still young Orlando Arcia at shortstop. Hiura has done nothing but rake in the minors, and if he keeps up what he’s doing it won’t be very long until he reaches the major leagues.
The Milwaukee Brewers infield is something that has been discussed a lot as of late, particularly due to the two trade acquisitions in Mike Moustakas and Jonathan Schoop, as well as moving Travis Shaw to second base. With both Hiura and Dubon being close to major league ready, the conversation of who should be in the infield will continue on.
Of Hiura, Dubon says he has been impressed by what the #9 overall pick has shown so far, and said that Hiura was actually the teammate of his host brother down in Sacramento, California. “Since he got drafted he (Dubon’s host brother) told me he can hit,” Dubon said. “He’s a great down to earth guy, I’m excited at the possibility of playing with him.”
Whether those two will be playing together is yet to be determined, mostly due to the Brewers upcoming decisions on the free agent Moustakas and Jonathan Schoop, who at this point in time doesn’t seem to be a big part of the Brewers plans moving forward due to his performance since being traded to Milwaukee.
More from Reviewing the Brew
Regardless of who his teammates in the infield are, the core group of the Brewers is pretty much set to return for the most part, and Dubon said that in spring training that this is “a fun group to be around,” so he wants more than anything to come back from this injury and earn his place among this group.
This is a team that is at the beginning of their ‘championship window,’ so the expectations will be very high for years to come, and that gives Dubon as well as other prospects the incentive to want to be a part of something special.
Given expectations, not being able to play due to the injury, among other things, Dubon is even more motivated to come back and succeed. However, another reason Dubon desires to come back and get the call-up is the fact that he would be the first player from Honduras to play in the major leagues.
Dubon takes great pride from the fact that he’d be the first one from his native country. “Making it to the big leagues is a very special thing, not everyone gets to do that,” Dubon said. “Being from Honduras and to be the first one would make it extra special.”
This is a very important, and a very special time for both Mauricio Dubon and the Milwaukee Brewers for many reasons. There is a lot to figure out in terms of when Dubon will get major league playing time, how to manage the young trio of him, Hiura and Orlando Arcia, and much else.
The bottom line is that Dubon is a talented young player, and will make an impact on this team given a full comeback from his injury and return to the player he was last season.
Want your voice heard? Join the Reviewing The Brew team!
The Milwaukee Brewers organization has not failed to give fans interesting and somewhat confusing storylines over the last few years, and this middle infield situation is no exception, but know that Dubon will be in the mix in those infield discussions for years to come.