Bobby Dalbec is picking up right where he left off after making his big-league debut last season.
The Boston Red Sox slugging prospect showed his tantalizing power in 2020, hitting eight home runs in just 23 games after being recalled from the minor-league alternate site. In just a few games of spring training, the 25-year-old is trying to prove last year’s showing was no fluke.
Dalbec hit two more home runs Wednesday in a spring training game against the Minnesota Twins.
Here’s the first of the two blasts:
That one landed 404 feet from home plate, and the second dinger — which also showcased Dalbec’s opposite-field clout — went an estimated 412 feet.
Dalbec now has three round-trippers in just seven at-bats this spring, as he continues to show he can hit it out of any park.
Dalbec’s biggest issue is obvious: He strikes out … a lot. In those 23 games last season, he struck out 39 times, and with another whiff in his third at-bat Wednesday, he already has three strikeouts in nine plate appearances.
The Red Sox can learn to live with that, though, as long as Dalbec continues to display a mature approach to hitting and doesn’t fundamentally change who he is at the plate.
“With his strikeouts, there’s no, it’s not like he expands the zone,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora explained earlier this week. “He stays within himself. He makes some good swing decisions. â¦ He doesn’t go to the edges, which I like. There are certain situations where we need to go to the edges and put the ball in play, and he knows that, but we’ll take the strikeouts as long as he stays within himself. As long as he does that, he’s going to produce.”
That doesn’t mean Dalbec isn’t looking to make improvements. Dalbec’s mental approach to the game is one of the things Cora likes most about him, and it should be reason for optimism that Dalbec can further maximize his results.
Dalbec’s area of focus? Being more aggressive early in counts but letting the ball get to him when he does swing.
“Just letting it travel, trusting my swing and my path and building that speed behind me,” Dalbec said Tuesday. “(That allows) me to make decisions later so I can do more damage on pitches earlier in the count and not have to get to those deep, deep counts.
“While I still want to work walks — and will do that — just being able to get balls in play earlier in the count with authority and just taking where it’s pitched and taking what the pitchers give me.”