With Opening Day only weeks away, the Boston Red Sox will be looking to turn the page on 2020. One player who could be an exciting piece is Bobby Dalbec. The 25-year-old made his major league debut last year and appeared in 23 games. In 2021 he is expected to get the majority of his starts at first base and be a threat in the middle of the Red Sox lineup. Although this will be Dalbec’s first full season, he will be one of Boston’s most important players.
Before Dalbec’s promotion, he was known for his power which was on full display in 2020. In 80 at-bats, he had 11 extra-base hits, including eight home runs. The former fourth-round pick was also able to drive in 16 runs and finished with a .263 average. While his power provided a boost to the Red Sox offense, Dalbec struggled with strikeouts.
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) March 3, 2021
In Dalbec’s first stint in the majors, he struck out 42.4 % of the time. Although it was a small sample size, he also had high strikeout totals in the minors. To remain a starter in the majors, he will have to make more contact. Major league pitchers now have a better idea of Dalbec’s weaknesses and will be looking to exploit them this upcoming season.
Dalbec, however, was one of the Red Sox’s best hitters in September. After hitting .111 in his first five games, he hit .306 in his final 18. He was also able to join special company during the shortened 2020 season. Dalbec and Mariners outfielder Kyle Lewis became the first players in MLB history to hit home runs in six of their first 10 major league games.
What to expect from Dalbec in 2021
Dalbec has been able to carry that success into Spring Training. In five games, he is hitting .400 and has driven in four runs. The right-handed slugger has also hit three home runs and has arrived at camp feeling stronger. Boston’s third-best prospect reportedly feels faster and more explosive, which is good news for Boston.
Although Spring Training is far from over, Dalbec has arrived determined and showed improvement. In 2021 he is projected by Bill James to hit 37 home runs. The Red Sox infielder showed that he has that potential last year and was one of Boston’s most dangerous hitters. Regardless of how the season plays out, Dalbec should be fun to watch and could be a Rookie of the Year candidate.
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