Bobby Dalbec

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Robert Vernon Dalbec

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Biographical Information[edit]

Bobby Dalbec won an MVP Award in the minors and played for Team USA before making his major league debut in 2020.

Dalbec hit .266/.333/.355 as a college freshman and was 3-5 with a 2.13 ERA. His roommates in college included Kevin Newman and Scott Kingery. [1] He picked it up as a sophomore, producing at a .319/.410/.601 clip with 15 homers and 53 RBI in 55 games; he went 3-7 with 5 saves and a 3.21 ERA. He made All-Pac-12 Conference. He spent part of the summer with the US collegiate team. [2] The rest of the summer, he impressed in the Cape Cod League, hitting .315/.432/.728 with 12 HR and 30 RBI in 27 games for the Orleans Firebirds. Despite not playing enough to make the league leaderboards in rate stats, he led the league in homers (no one else topped 8) and was 2nd in RBI, 3 behind Nick Senzel (who played 13 more games). Baseball America named him the league's #16 prospect (between Garrett Williams and Corbin Burnes). [3]

He slumped to .260/.370/.429 as a junior but pitched better (11-5, 7 Sv, 2.65). He was second in the Pac-12 in wins, one behind Nathan Bannister, and missed the NCAA Division I top 10 by one. The Boston Red Sox took him in the 4th round of the 2016 amateur draft, one round after Shaun Anderson and one before Mike Shawaryn. The scout was Vaughn Williams. [4]

He had a superb pro debut with the Lowell Spinners, batting .386/.427/.674 with 33 RBI in 34 games. Had he qualified, he would have led the New York-Penn League in average, slugging and OPS and been second to J.D. Orr in OBP. Baseball America named him the league's #9 prospect (between Peter Alonso and Jordan Hicks) and as the top Red Sox power prospect. They ranked him Boston's #5 prospect entering 2017 [5]

In 2017, he missed two months with a wrist injury and his offensive numbers were down with the Greenville Drive (.246/.345/.437, 13 HR in 78 G). He hit .259/.375/.296 in a 7-game rehab stint with the GCL Red Sox. He fielded .940 at the hot corner. He rebounded on offense in '18 with the Salem Red Sox (.256/.372/.573, 26 HR, 85 RBI) and Portland Sea Dogs (.261/.323/.514, 6 HR, 24 RBI in 29 G). He led the Carolina League in dingers (3 ahead of Wilson Garcia), slugging (.052 ahead of Garcia) and RBI (7 more than Blake Rutherford) and tied Chris Clare for 6th in walks (60). He easily led BoSox farmhands in homers (12 more than #2 Josh Ockimey), RBI (38 ahead of Ockimey) and total bases (254, 57 more than Rusney Castillo). In the affiliated minors, he tied Roberto Ramos for 4th in homers and tied Cristian Santana for 2nd in RBI, 10 behind Alonso. [6] He bounced back from a .218/.351/.477 first half to win the league MVP and was named the All-Star third baseman. [7] Baseball America listed him as the league's #8 prospect, between Khalil Lee and Jonathan Hernandez. [8]

That fall, he hit .219/.367/.425 with 16 RBI and 15 walks in 20 games for the Mesa Solar Sox. He tied Monte Harrison for 8th in the Arizona Fall League in RBI and tied Cavan Biggio, Tyler Nevin and Ronnie Dawson for 3rd in walks. He was chosen for the 2018 Fall Stars Game. Baseball America listed him as the Red Sox' #1 prospect, best power prospect, best defensive infielder and having the best infield arm and strike-zone discipline in their chain. [9]

He again showcased his power in 2019, with the Sea Dogs (.234/.371/.454, 20 HR in 105 G) and Pawtucket Red Sox (.257/.301/.478, 7 HR in 30 G), drawing 73 walks for the year. He tied Darick Hall for 2nd in the Eastern League in homers, 3 behind Chris Gittens. He also was 3rd with 68 walks, behind Jacob Heyward and Gittens. Among Red Sox minor leaguers, he again led in homers (two more than Ockimey), was second in RBI (8 behind Triston Casas) and second to Ockimey in walks. He was named the EL All-Star third baseman. [10] Baseball America rated him as the EL's best power prospect, most exciting player, having the best infield arm and the best strike-zone judgment. [11] They also listed him as the EL's #8 prospect, between Bryan Mata and Andres Gimenez. The only position players higher were fellow third basemen Alec Bohm and Nolan Jones. [12] He then played for the US in the 2019 Premier 12, starting at first base usually with Bohm manning third. He hit a grand slam off Lars Huijer in the opener and took Horacio Ramírez deep in the 4th to tie it in a game 2 loss to Mexico. In the Bronze Medal Game, he hit 5th and went 1 for 4 with a RBI single off Francisco Rios to put the US up, 2-1, in the 7th, but they fell to Mexico in ten. He finished the event at .250/.364/.500 with 8 RBI in 8 games. He tied for 6th in the tournament in homers (2), was second in RBI (5 behind MVP Seiya Suzuki) and tied for 4th with five walks. He was named the All-Star first baseman. [13]

With the minor leagues shut down by the Coronavirus pandemic, he started the 2020 season at the Red Sox's alternate training site, while the big league team got off to a horrendous start that prompted them to start dumping veterans when the trading deadline came nearer at the end of August. When the Red Sox dealt 1B Mitch Moreland to the San Diego Padres on August 30th, it opened up a spot for Bobby and he made his debut that day, going 2 for 4 with his first major league homer and 2 RBIs in a 9-5 win over the Washington Nationals. He started at first base, batting 8th, and his homer came against Javy Guerra in the 3rd inning. He ended up playing 23 games, 21 of them at first base, and hit .263 with 8 homers and 16 RBIs, good for an OPS+ of 152.

The Red Sox named Dalbec their starting first baseman for Opening Day in 2021. On July 29th, Dalbec became the tallest shortstop to ever play for the Red Sox; there had been six 6'3" shortstops for the Sox before him, most recently Drew Sutton in 2011, but at 6'4", he had them all beat. In spite of getting an extended opportunity to prove his mettle as the team's regular first baseman, his highest batting average over the first four months of the season was .237, in June, and he was striking out copiously with 111 in 278 at-bats over the 4 months and just 11 homers to balance that off. But he started showing progress in August when he was named the winner of American League Rookie of the Month Award by hitting .339 and slugging .774 in 24 games, with 7 homers and 21 RBIs. He also had more walks and fewer strikeouts than in any previous month, giving an inkling that he could still develop into a productive major leaguer in spite of his early struggles.

Notable Achievements[edit]


  1. Arizona bio
  2. USA Baseball
  3. 2016 Baseball Almanac, pg. 481
  4. 2019 Red Sox Media Guide, pg. 109
  5. 2017 Baseball Almanac, pg. 386; 2019 Red Sox Media Guide, pg. 109
  6. 2019 Baseball Almanac, pg. 366
  7. ibid., pg. 380
  8. ibid.
  9. 2019 Red Sox Media Guide, pg. 108
  11. 2020 Baseball Almanac, pg. 416
  12. ibid., pg. 388
  13. 2019 Premier 12

Further Reading[edit]

  • David Adler: "This young slugger could follow Judge's lead",, March 9, 2021. [1]

Related Sites[edit]