Arizona Wildcats IF/P Bobby Dalbec was the first Arizona player to take part in the College Baseball Home Run Derby in its five-year history, and while he may not have hit a ton of bombs, being there got the freshman some recognition nationally.
Dalbec ended up finishing 7th in the eight-man competition, hitting just three home runs in the first round and failed to advance on in the competition. Only Oklahoma's Hunter Haley finished with fewer bombs, getting one over the TD Ameritrade Park wall.
High school teammates and now Big 12 rivals Tres Barrera and Eric Gutierrez stole the show. Barrera, a catcher for the Texas Longhorns, blasted 25 home runs in the final round to take home the derby crown.
While Dalbec may have only knocked out three home runs (one more than he hit all year though), he impressed all day long at batting practice, and even during the competition.
Is it me or does Bobby Dalbec's swing look like a right-handed Josh Hamilton? #CollegeHRDerby— Garrett Spain (@crashspain) July 4, 2014
Obviously he's not as strongly built yet and doesn't quite have the pop but visually....— Garrett Spain (@crashspain) July 4, 2014
Kyle Peterson, who covers college baseball for ESPN and lives in Omaha, was very impressed with Dalbec's swing in general. A nice, smooth stroke on every pitch he tried to launch out of there. No crazy all-or-nothing release, which was refreshing to see.
Apparently during batting practice earlier in the day, Dalbec was putting on a show, blasting balls past the seats and up onto the outfield concourse consistently.
The freshman also started to turn the corner a little bit in Cape Cod League play before heading out to Omaha for the Home Run Derby. Dalbec has driven in at least one run in each of his five contests, and has two home runs and five walks in those games.
Cool to see an Arizona player take part in a thing like the Home Run Derby, and even cooler that it's one like Dalbec, who has a lot of potential the next two years in the Arizona infield and on the mound.