After trading away two of their best players during the winter, the Boston Red Sox were looking at a rebuilding year. When the season got delayed into July and shortened, the decision to punt on 2020 and look toward the future was even more affirmed.
And that future appears to be at least partly in the form of Bobby Dalbec.
The former Arizona Wildcats star has made the most of his first taste of the major leagues, hitting a home run in four consecutive games including both ends of a doubleheader Tuesday in Philadelphia.
Bobby Dalbec of the @RedSox is the third player in the modern era to have a 4-game homer streak within the first 9 games of his MLB career.— Stats By STATS (@StatsBySTATS) September 9, 2020
He joins Minnesota's Graig Nettles (1968) and Colorado's Trevor Story (2016).
Since getting promoted from Boston’s “alternative training site” on Aug. 30, the 25-year-old Dalbec has hit five homers, the second Red Sox player to do that in their first nine games. He’s hitting .250 after going 3 for 6 with 4 RBI in the doubleheader, and during his 4-game homer streak he’s 6 for 14.
That’s a stark contrast to Dalbec’s first five games, during which he struck out in 11 of 19 plate appearances. That prompted the 6-foot-4, 227-pound slugger to sit down with Boston hitting coaches Tim Hyers and Peter Fatse to shorten his swing.
“I was kind of getting stuck on my backside,” Dalbec told the Boston Globe on Monday. “I was a little twisty, but I think I got it ironed out now.”
A fourth-round pick of the Red Sox in the 2016 MLB Draft, Dalbec was a do-everything guy for Arizona from 2014-16. On the 2016 squad that made the College World Series championship series he split time between third base and the mound, both as a closer for most of the regular season and then a starter in the postseason.
With Boston he has made seven starts at first base with one apiece at third and as the designated hitter. He figures to remain in the lineup for the remainder of the season as Boston, sitting at 15-29, has the worst record in the American League.