The Boston Red Sox know they have something in 24-year-old Bobby Dalbec.
The Seattle, Wash. native was called up to Triple-A Pawtucket on Aug. 3 and has clubbed seven home runs over that span, bringing his 2019 total to 27. He has power, versatility and manages to get on base at a very high rate, despite some high strikeout numbers. But with so much promise, why was he not included in Boston’s September call ups?
President of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski told NESN’s Tom Caron on Tuesday that it had to do with playing time more than anything else.
“There’s a lot that goes into a decision like that,” Dombrowski said, as seen on NESN’s pregame coverage. “First of all it’s a matter of playing time. So we didn’t look at him really having much of any playing time here the way we’re situated right now. With (Rafael) Devers at third base, we’re really covered there. At first we’ve got (Mitch) Moreland, we’ve got (Sam) Travis, so we didn’t see a lot of playing time there. So when you don’t have a lot of playing time, then it’s a roster addition.
“For us, putting him on the roster, you have to take somebody else off your roster at this point, so that makes a difference,” he added. “And you get the accumulation of service time and all those things that come into play, but really it’s more playing time.”
Despite not getting the call to the Red Sox’s roster, Dalbec still was at Fenway Park on Tuesday working out with the team. He’ll spend the week with the big club, which Dombrowski sees as a valuable experience.
“What we have been able to do because he’s not on the roster — we can bring him up here in September. So we’ve got him here, we’re going to keep him here for the week. (Hitting coach) Tim Hyers has some thoughts about his swing — some little adjustments that he wants to make with him, that it’s better doing face-to-face. And he also can sit in on all of our meetings this week and see the type of preparation that we go through in order to get ready for the games.”
The organization is very high on the University of Arizona product, and rightfully so. His impressive versatility and power is a combination that doesn’t come along very often, but should provide the Red Sox with plenty of positives down the road.
“We like him a great deal,” Dombrowski said. “He can play third base as we know, we have a pretty good third baseman right now that we like, but he also can play first base very well. He’s turned into a good first baseman. He has a tremendous throwing arm. He’s eager to play wherever he can. So for us, he gives us some alternatives going forward, and he did have a big year.”
The power was on display Tuesday when he took batting practice at Fenway. Dombrowski was able to catch a peek, and clearly liked what he saw.
“There’s not many players that have power like he has. He has immense power. I was watching an early batting practice today, where he hits balls, there’s not many guys that can hit them there.”
So yes, it’s understandable that some Sox fans were disappointed that Dalbec didn’t get the call this September, but he’s sure to be worth the wait.