It's Time To Apologize to Mauricio Dubón
By Alec Brown
Heading into this season, nobody banged the “DFA Dubón” drums more loudly than I. Whether it was signing Jurickson Profar, bringing back Yuli Gurriel, or even calling up an unproven prospect, anybody but Dubón should have occupied the Astros final roster spot.
Three weeks into the season, I owe Dubón an apology. Aside from Yordan Alvarez, Kyle Tucker and a banged up Chas McCormick, he’s the only everyday regular bringing anything at the plate.
Now slotted in the leadoff spot, the utility man (that is predominantly playing second base) is hitting .340. He doesn’t have the power that Altuve does atop the order, but as Houston looks for any possible way to navigate Altuve’s absence, Dubón is doing his pat. He currently holds a .753 OPS, fifth best on the team of everyday players.
His work this offseason paid off. Dubón hit .208 as an Astro last season with a .548 OPS. This year not only have his counting stats skyrocketed, but so have his Statcast metrics.
Dubón is currently in the 96th percentile in xBA and 55th in xwOBA. He’s been a great asset atop the order as even with his free swinging approach, he makes contact at an incredible rate, and is in the 99th percentile in whiff rate and 100th percentile in strikeout rate.
He’s doing this while recording outs above average in the 81st percentile.
With David Hensley's woes at the plate, the emergence of Dubón has become even more vital to the Astros success.
Is he every going to win an MVP? No. Is he even going to hit above .300 for the entire season? Probably not. But as Houston attempts to right the ship and find a way to score runs without Jose Altuve’s bat in the lineup, Dubón is doing everything he can to make that happen. It’s time we give him the credit he deserves.