Mauricio Dubon grew up in Honduras letting TV be his teacher, then he would find a field and put those lessons to work.
Here it is, kids: The success story that proves the screen is the best way to be raised.
Again and again, Dubon shows off an IQ that belies a 25-year-old who has played 15 total games in the major leagues. His boyish facial features give the appearance of a rookie. His infectious energy on Sept. 12 of a lost season gives the appearance of a rookie. That’s where the list ends.
Dubon’s head and glove were the most encouraging parts of a 4-2 loss to the Pirates at Oracle Park on Thursday, finding a few ways to impress on an afternoon in which he went 0-for-3 with a strikeout.
His first moment came in the fifth, when, with one out, Adam Frazier took off for second as Bryan Reynolds bounced one Dubon’s way. He never took his eyes off Frazier, who charged right for third with Evan Longoria shifted in the shortstop hole.
Bochy spent a few minutes today talking about how smart Dubon is on the field. He probably enjoyed this one, too: pic.twitter.com/saircBDGah
— Alex Pavlovic (@PavlovicNBCS) September 12, 2019
Why did Dubon notice? That’s what Baserunner Dubon would have done.
“He was already in motion. So I just put myself [in the mind of] the baserunner, I would’ve kept going. So I held it a little bit. As soon as he took off, I just let it loose.”
He took a few beats at second without tossing to Brandon Belt before he pivoted toward third with the nice lead pass to Longoria, who applied the tag.
“That was a great play for Dubi,” said Jeff Samardzija, who went 6 1/3 innings and allowed four runs. “To have that awareness out there is pretty special. … And he’s young, too. It’s fun to watch.”
Dubon made Samardzija’s day more palatable in the following inning, too. This time it was Kevin Kramer who took off for second, with two outs, and Buster Posey never got a good grip on the ball. He gunned toward second, but the throw tailed toward first, pulling Dubon off the bag.
It didn’t pull him completely away from the diving Kramer, though, who stretched his hands to the bag but couldn’t hide his feet. Dubon had a good feel for his surroundings as he caught the throw and slammed his glove down.
“I knew where he was. I knew his feet were there and everything,” said the .267-hitting infielder, who’s doing his best to make the Giants watchable. “So I was just trying to get his foot at least. And now with cameras and everything, just try to put a tag on him.”
It was pointed out that MLB’s replay rules aren’t omnipresent; in Dubon’s 15th game, he was citing the camerawork that he knew would verify the runner was out.
— San Francisco Giants (@SFGiants) September 12, 2019
It was a nod to his baseball schooling.
“I watch a lot of baseball,” Dubon said. “… You learn a lot by watching the game.”
His energy has captivated fans. And it has not alienated teammates, which is a difficult balancing act.
“He carries himself with a lot of confidence, but I don’t think he’s overconfident,” Posey told KNBR. “It’s self-assurance, but not to the point he’s annoying, like a lot of guys can be.”
X-rays on Jaylin Davis’ left wrist, struck by a 97-mph Yacksel Rios fastball, were negative. The right fielder has a contusion.
“I can’t tell you how long it’ll be,” Bruce Bochy said. “It will be pretty sore tomorrow. It caught him pretty good.”