3 under-the-radar Astros players who are off to great starts in 2023
By Eric Treuden
Second baseman Mauricio Dubón
Okay, we're willing to wear this one. Perhaps we pulled the plug on the Dubón experiment too early. After a dreadful season at the plate last year (.208 average, 56 OPS+ in 83 games), it was easy to say that he was no longer deserving of a spot on the Astros' 26-man roster.
One injury later to the perennial starter, and suddenly the Astros have a new everyday second baseman who is excelling with consistent at-bats. A chance to prove himself is all the 28-year-old could've needed.
With Jose Altuve down, Dubón, a five-year veteran in the major leagues, has been forced to step up. He has typically functioned as a utilityman who can play all over the infield and outfield, but he's only lined up at second to start the year.
Through 13 games, Dubón is 18-for-53 (.340 average), has scored 10 runs, driven in three and even shown off a strong eye at the plate, walking two times and striking out only twice as well.
This could be as simple as a hot start, or this could be a sign of what's to come out of Dubón. Now that he's tied down to one position and doesn't have to focus on playing all over the place, have the Astros unlocked a new version of him?
Only time will tell, and it's guaranteed that he will not steal at-bats away from Altuve once he returns, so it will be interesting to see how Dubón is handled when that time comes.