Bobby Dalbec has to be one of the more perplexing players in the Boston Red Sox system. With his stature and immense potential power, Dalbec was previously considered one of the top offensive hitting prospects in the Boston organisation. Although, now at 27, he has yet to find a consistent groove at the plate since returning from the lower levels.
If the MLB passed out prizes throughout Spring Training, Dalbec would undoubtedly be racking up the accolades. Dalbec has demonstrated considerable gains in his contact and patient game; at the plate this spring. The Washington native has a .500 batting average, along with one home run, and three RBIs in five games this season.
Spring Training has never been a concern for the first basemen. Dalbec put on a clinic in the Grapefruit League in 2021, blasting seven dingers. Even so, last season he maintained a .333 batting average over 39 at-bats.
It's now or never for an ageing Dalbec, as he nears the end of his development stage. Last season, Dalbec struggled early on and eventually lost the starting spot to youngster Triston Casas. The slugger was then optioned to AAA, Worcester, before being called up after a 13 game stint in the International League.
Dalbec was a streaky player last season, not only because of a lack of contact, but also because his power was substantially lower. The Red Sox finished the season with a -0.7 WAR after launching just 12 home runs in over 100 games.
Is 2023 finally, Bobby Dalbec's year? With a tremendous Spring Training performance, and Boston's lack of depth at first-base, Dalbec will likely seek a bench role to start the season.
Yet, if Dalbec continues to struggle, he will almost certainly be among the names at the top of the totem pole to be traded during the 2023 season.
Dalbec, a former fourth-round choice by Boston in the 2016 MLB Draft, has appeared in 273 games for the team and has a career batting average of .232.