MLB Pipeline has named Boston Red Sox No. 2 prospect Bobby Dalbec as a potential September callup to get excited about this season.
As the Minor League season comes to a close, the September 1 roster expansion is huge for clubs looking to add depth throughout the roster. Going into Monday 15 games out of first place and six back in the Wild Card race, the Boston Red Sox are one of the teams that could benefit from taking a peek into their future by promoting some of their young prospects.
In an article posted to MLB Pipeline looking at 30 potential callups to get excited about that included top 10 MLB prospects Jo Adell, Gavin Lux, and Luis Robert, Red Sox minor league infielder Bobby Dalbec was named as somebody to look out for in the final month of the regular season:
"Dalbec has little left to prove in the Minors after continuing to hit for power and play quality defense at the hot corner while tightening his strike-zone discipline. He’s hopelessly blocked by Rafael Devers but could be at least the right-handed half of a first-base platoon in 2020, so it makes sense to give him some at-bats in September."
Dalbec, Boston’s No. 2 prospect and 8th-best third base prospect overall, according to MLB.com, started the 2019 season in Double-A Portland. In 105 games with the Sea Dogs, Dalbec slashed .234/.371/.454 with 20 HR to go with an equal 57 runs scored and RBI before being promoted to Triple-A in early August. In 21 games since his promotion, the 24-year-old has kept up the solid numbers, raising his batting average and OPS to .295 and .876, respectively, while adding five HR, nine runs scored and 11 RBI.
Since being drafted by the Red Sox in the fourth round of the 2016 MLB draft, Dalbec has played primarily at third base. In case any Red Sox might be unfamiliar, the Red Sox already have an everyday third baseman, who is in the midst of a potential-MVP season. With Rafael Devers improving defensively, going from a combined -10.1 Ultimate Zone Rating between 2017-2018 to 1.6 this season, Dalbec has begun to see time at first base, a much less secure position for Boston from 2020 and beyond.
A September 1 promotion for Dalbec has little downside for the Red Sox, as the roster expansion means the team will not need to demote another player to bring him to Boston. While not likely to take many at-bats away from Devers, Dalbec can be another infield option for Red Sox manager Alex Cora when the regular starters need a day off or he can be a right-handed pinch-hitter for any of the left-handed bats when facing a southpaw out of the bullpen.
Dalbec’s raw power is among the best of any prospect, and any bit of major league experience can be helpful for the youngster as he looks to potentially compete for a spot on the Red Sox Opening Day roster next season.
More from Red Sox News
- Bizarre trade deadline comes back to haunt Red Sox after Nathan Eovaldi departure
- Red Sox’ Moneyball-style offseason continues with Corey Kluber contract
- Rich Hill’s Red Sox departure puts him within striking distance of unique MLB record
- Red Sox offseason takes another nasty hit with Nathan Eovaldi departure
- Why Red Sox fans should be rooting for Carlos Correa’s Mets deal to go through
One potential roadblock for Dalbec if he does reach the MLB level this season is the return of Red Sox rookie Michael Chavis. The Ice Horse was recently sent on a rehab assignment after being on the Injured List since August 12 with an AC joint sprain in his left shoulder. Cora told reporters recently that Chavis has been “physically okay” and “getting (his) timing back”. Chavis will likely be activated in early September and will be competing for the same at-bats as Dalbec if they are both on the major league roster.
As noted, the Red Sox are down but not out when it comes to making a run to the playoffs. Even sitting at eight games over .500, they are still the odd one out in a Wild Card race where the top three teams – Cleveland, Tampa Bay, and Oakland – are separated by a single game. If the Red Sox do not make the playoffs this season, every move made by the front office will be increasingly scrutinized, especially with President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski potentially on the hot seat going into the offseason.
Whether or not Dalbec will be in a Red Sox uniform in 2019 is yet to be seen. A full-time promotion to the majors next season is all but inevitable with both Steve Pearce and Mitch Moreland hitting free agency this offseason. It will simply be up to Cora and Dombrowski if they want to have Dalbec start fresh in 2020, or give him his first taste of major league baseball as a September callup.