Red Sox rookie Bobby Dalbec is on a historic home run streak.
Dalbec homered in both games of Tuesday’s doubleheader in Philadelphia, bringing his career total to five through nine games. He joins Sam Horn as the only Red Sox players in franchise history to hit five home runs in their first nine major league games.
A solo shot late in Game 1 briefly tied the game before the Phillies walked off with a win an inning later. Dalbec’s blast was pulled 425 feet to left-center for the longest home run of his brief career.
Dalbec’s two-run shot to the opposite field gave the Red Sox a lead in the sixth inning of the nightcap against the Phillies. The 25-year-old has shown impressive power to all fields with three of his five home runs going to the opposite field.
According to Elias, Dalbec is the first rookie in Red Sox history to hit a home run in four consecutive games.
The Red Sox called up the power-hitting prospect at the end of August following the trade that sent first baseman Mitch Moreland to the San Diego Padres. Dalbec immediately put the league on notice by smashing a home run in his major league debut.
The rookie sputtered through a frustrating slump after his memorable introduction to the big leagues, going 0-for-14 with nine strikeouts over his next four games. Strikeouts are a concern that has followed him from the minor leagues and will prevent him from hitting for a solid batting average if he doesn’t learn to avoid chasing pitches. Dalbec has already struck out a staggering 16 times in his first 32 at-bats while drawing only three walks.
When he gets a hold of a pitch he likes though, Dalbec is capable of doing some damage. He probably doesn’t have any batting titles in his future but leading the league in homers might be attainable within the next few years.
Fun fact about Dalbec’s home run streak – he’s been using Jackie Bradley Jr.’s bat over these last four games. According to Masslive’s Chris Cotillo, Dalbec picked up his teammate’s bat while practicing in the batting cage and felt so comfortable with it that Bradley Jr. has allowed him to use it in games.
“It just feels good,” Dalbec said. “He’s swinging a pretty good, hot bat right now. I picked it up in the cage one of the games I was sitting and couldn’t put it down. Just tried it out and it has been going pretty well.”
Bradley Jr. will be a free-agent after this season. If the Red Sox are unable to re-sign him, perhaps they can at least convince him to leave the bat behind. Let’s just hope that lucky bat doesn’t break before Dalbec’s home run streak is snapped.
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Watching young players like Dalbec has been a bright spot in an otherwise gloomy Red Sox season. We should expect plenty of roster turnover this offseason but if Dalbec keeps showcasing his power stroke down the stretch, he may cement himself a role heading into next season.