Bobby Dalbec has showed Boston Red Sox fans his true power during spring training.
But while Red Sox manager Alex Cora acknowledged Dalbec’s ability to lift the bottom of the lineup, he knows there is more to the 25-year-old first baseman.
“We know he’ll drive the ball. I don’t want to put a number (on home runs), but I know he has the potential to be a factor in the bottom of the lineup,” Cora told reporters during his postgame video conference after Boston’s loss to the Atlanta Braves, per the team.
“We know about the strikeouts, but at the same time, we know about the quality of the at-bats, the player, the base runner, the defender. We have a complete player.”
Dalbec finished spring training with seven home runs and a .311 average (14 hits in 45 at-bats) in 18 games. He recorded a pair of extra-base hits but did strike out 19 times in 51 plate appearances.
Dalbec enters the season as Boston’s starting first baseman after playing in 23 games during the pandemic-shortened 2020 campaign. He recorded eight home runs in 80 at-bats last season.
Cora is optimistic Dalbec, who could be among the team’s breakout stars, will shine with more opportunities this season.
“(We’re) looking forward for him to being in the lineup Thursday,” Cora said. “He played last year, and it was empty stands, no family. So I know it?s going to be a special day for all of us, but for him it?s going to be extra special.”
The Red Sox will open the 2021 Major League Baseball season Thursday against the Baltimore Orioles at Fenway Park.