4. Bobby Dalbec
So. Much. Power. If you count Casas, this is third baseman number six in the top-30 of the Red Sox prospects. Bobby Dalbec has the most power out of any of them. Let me stop there, Dalbec has the most power out of anyone – in the system.
For a frame of reference, how about a story? I went to a few Portland Sea Dogs (Double-A) games this season and saw Dalbec twice. In one game (against the Reading Phillies), he was robbed of an opposite-field home run. That may not seem like a show of power, but it’s deeper than that. This was a flick-of-the-wrist swing. Dalbec clearly missed the pitch (and he knew it) and still hit it over the fence.
Dalbec is another where speed is his only attribute with no real projection. He’s not slow, but don’t expect him to create too much magic on the base paths. That being said, he’s faster than many give him credit for.
Defensively, he needs to stay at third base. He has solid footwork (much better than his speed would suggest) and can get to a lot of balls. His glove-work is also strong and he has a rifle for an arm.
When it comes to the plate, there are a few weaknesses. Dalbec probably won’t be a .300 hitter in the Majors although he could still hit over .250.
The real problem has been strikeouts. Again, however, this is a little overblown. In 2018 Dalbec struck out 176 times in 543 plate appearances. That means he struck out in 32.4% of his plate appearances. Clearly, that’s something he’ll want to work out. At the same time though, Giancarlo Stanton struck out 211 times in 705 plate appearances, that’s 29.9%. So a high strikeout percentage doesn’t mean you can’t be a star.
Also of note, Joey Gallo hit 40 home runs despite 207 strikeouts in of his 577 PAs. That’s an astronomical 35.9%, proving you can still be extremely valuable with a high strikeout rate.
Dalbec mashed in 2018 while splitting time between Advanced-A and Double-A. He slashed .257/.361/.558 and roped 35 doubles and three triples, as well as 32 home runs. The 24-year-old also drove in a ridiculous 109 runs (in 129 games).
There’s always been a ton of raw power in his bat and things could get even better from here. Dalbec already has a solid 6’4″, 225 lbs frame and if he beefs up more the home run potential is limitless.
Dalbec had a mammoth year in 2018 and there’s no reason to believe he can’t build off it. If given the opportunity, his bat would be superb in Fenway. Will give the Red Sox at least one 40 home run season.