Red Sox prospect Bobby Dalbec crushes homer in Major League debut

BOSTON, MA - AUGUST 30: Bobby Dalbec #29 of the Boston Red Sox rounds the bases after hitting a two run home run for his first career hit in his Major League Debut during the third inning of a game against the Washington Nationals on August 30, 2020 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. The 2020 season had been postponed since March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - AUGUST 30: Bobby Dalbec #29 of the Boston Red Sox rounds the bases after hitting a two run home run for his first career hit in his Major League Debut during the third inning of a game against the Washington Nationals on August 30, 2020 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. The 2020 season had been postponed since March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images) /
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Bobby Dalbec homers in his Red Sox debut

The trade deadline is just hours away and the Red Sox made a move today that could have some longlasting effects on the organization. Just before this afternoon’s game, it was announced that Boston had traded fan favorite and World Series Champion Mitch Moreland to the San Diego Padres. With the veteran heading out West, a slot opened up at first base and Bobby Dalbec finally got the call to fill it.

Dalbec has long been considered one of Boston’s top prospects and it was just a matter of time before his phone rang to come to the big leagues. Many wanted him to be on the Opening Day roster since he had a strong showing in both the Minors last season as well as spring training and summer camp. Once again he just missed the cut but with the player pool in Pawtucket, he was able to continue putting in the work.

As the season has progressed and it’s become clear that the Red Sox would need a miracle to see October baseball, the call for his promotion began to get louder. Like we’ve seen plenty of times, the club clearly wanted to avoid starting the service time clock and kept him at the alternate site as long as they could. I’m going to spare you all my angry rant about service time and the entire process, just know that I hate it.

Now that that Boston was without Moreland, the only other option at first was fellow young infielder Michael Chavis. The Ice Horse as he’s come to be known has been working his tail off to become a competent second baseman, despite having Jose Peraza on the roster. Peraza will be a free agent at the end of the year with Chavis likely slotting back over to second, first is wide open for Dalbec.

It wasn’t a perfect game for the prospect as he struck out in the first at-bat of his Major League career. However, he didn’t waste his second opportunity to make a statement in his debut. With the count sitting at 0-2 and Kevin Plawecki on second base, the first baseman cracked a pitch toward the Pesky Pole that everyone lost sight of.

Literally, everyone from Jerry Remy and Dennis Eckersley to Washington right fielder Victor Robles. Seconds later everyone realized that the ball had landed in the stands and Dalbec officially opened his Red Sox account. The wind at Fenway Park was wild today leading to six homers, five doubles, and a triple. The extra-base hits were coming in bunches for both teams as each side put on a hitting clinic.

Back to Dalbec though, his day wasn’t done as he’d add a single to his ledger and would finish the day 2-4 with the homer, single, two strikeouts, and two RBI. That’s one hell of a debut and one that was a long time coming for the top prospect. For everyone that has been clamoring for Dalbec to get his chance with the Red Sox, he quickly repaid that confidence in his abilities.

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So what’s next for Bobby Dalbec and the Boston Red Sox? We’ve got a little under half the season left and we’ll most likely see him split time at first with Chavis as he continues to grow with the main roster. Over the last two seasons, he was a favorite to make the Opening Day roster to just miss it as spring training came to an end. If he can keep even a fraction of the momentum he created today for the remainder of 2020, I can see him coming into 2021 as a lock for Opening Day.

The other side of the coin is that he could come in hot and then the league figures him out once there’s more video of his at-bats. It’s what we saw happen to Chavis after his callup in April of 2019. He came in like a ball of fire but would soon be extinguished as opposing pitchers learned of his affinity for the high fastball.

Dalbec will need to continue evolving as a player so he can’t be as easily read by the other teams in the league. If he’s able to do so then the first baseman has the talent and ability to be a force for the Red Sox for quite some time.

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Today’s trade of Moreland and promotion of Dalbec signals what we’ve all figured out, the Red Sox are going for a rebuild via the youth movement. They have a hell of a foundation in Xander Bogaerts, Rafael Devers then you add Chavis and Dalbec to that infielder squad in Boston is set for the foreseeable future. I’ve got plenty of faith in Bobby Dalbec and based on what I’ve seen from him in the Minors, he can be a major asset to this team for a long time.