Possible Red Sox breakout candidates for the 2021 season
A possible Red Sox Rookie of the Year
Bobby Dalbec will either be the American League Rookie of The Year or be in Worcester in June. With Dalbec, the number that sticks out is 42.4 K%. Over a full season that would make Chris Davis and Mark Reynolds appear like Joe Sewell who whiffed about once every 20 games. The K issue has dogged the 26-year-old his entire career and undoubtedly will continue.
In today’s game, the walk of shame is not as devastating as in the past. With Dalbec, it has to be minimized since he did have a .394 BABIP in 23 games. Dalbec is certainly not an all-or-nothing hitter despite the astronomical strike-out totals. The 10.9 BB% was one of the most favorable on the team, so the eye is certainly judicious enough.
The calling card for Dalbec is the long ball and they can really be long. In 2020, he slammed eight in just 92 plate appearances. This spring, Dalbec has continued to crank them out. A prodigious right-handed power bat at Fenway Park for 81 games.
Dalbec has the inside track as the starting first baseman for 2021. The small defensive sample in 2020 (175.1 innings) produced a -1.9 UZR/150. Dalbec is tall, agile – since he can play third – and with a reasonably strong arm. Defense is no concern for me nor should it be for Red Sox Nation.
The various projects have Dalbec hitting in the 25+ home run range. A good, but not a great number. For Dalbec to be considered the breakout that number will have to be elevated and I think it will be. I have no idea why I just like Dalbec as a hitter. I admire contact and detest strikeouts. I hope Dalbec has really flipped me on that concept.