Boston Red Sox AAA
2020 Fantasy Outlook
A good prospect, yet a flawed one, Dalbec could be a plus defender at third base who hits for plus power, but he may not hit enough for those strengths to matter. He mastered Double-A (143 wRC+) in a return trip, but his version of mastering a level is a .234/.371/.454 line. His 15.5 BB% at Double-A is exactly what his OBP/points-league managers had in mind, but that mark shriveled to 4.1% in 30 games at Triple-A while his AVG jumped closer to his career .261 mark. A three-true-outcomes profile will work fine in real life, given his power and defense, but if his walk rate doesn't bounce back to at least 10%, there is little evidence he will be able to provide enough offensive value to occupy a corner-infield spot on a contending team. He is a better defender than Rafael Devers, but Devers may be so entrenched that Dalbec moves to first base (where his 70-grade arm would be wasted) or the outfield. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a contract with the Red Sox in July of 2016 that includes a $650,000 signing bonus.
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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Bobby Dalbec
James Anderson ranks the rookies based on expected value for 2020, and Athletics' southpaw A.J. Puk is the top pitching prospect on his board.
James Anderson ranks the rookies based on expected value for 2020, and Yankees righty Clarke Schmidt is shooting up this third version of the list.
James Anderson continues his series on prospect ranking dilemmas in the 126-150 range and considers why he might be too high on Red Sox slugger Bobby Dalbec.
James Anderson ranks the rookies based on expected value for 2020, and Dodgers second baseman Gavin Lux is the cream of the crop.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
Position players get graded on five tools, but those tools do not count the same. Take Dalbec, whose power, arm and glove are at least 60-grade, and possibly 70-grade tools. But if he ends up with a 30-grade hit tool, those sixes and sevens may not matter. He has never been young for his level, yet his strikeout rate has never been below 31% in full-season ball, and was above 37% at Low-A and Double-A. He also led the Arizona Fall League with 32 strikeouts in 20 games. Prior to his promotion to Double-A, he at least paired those whiffs with a ton of walks, but his BB% fell from 14.3% at High-A to 4.8% at Double-A. Dalbec's swing is geared for the type of contact we want -- line drives and flyballs -- but he needs to make contact at an acceptable clip. One comp comes to mind, if we want to take a glass-half-full outlook: Matt Chapman. However, Chapman's contact rates were always slightly better, and his walk rate never plummeted like Dalbec's did in 2018.
Dalbec was a fourth-round draft pick out of the University of Arizona, where he played third base and pitched. On a positional track in the Red Sox's organization, Dalbec was Babe Ruth reincarnated last summer, bashing seven homers while hitting .386 with a 1.101 OPS in 34 games for short-season Lowell. So, how was it that a player with this much power potential, an anticipated first-rounder after mashing in the Cape Cod League during the summer of 2015, slipped to the fourth round? Dalbec slugged just .429 with seven homers while striking out 36.7 percent of the time in 68 games during his junior year at Arizona. The knock that he was an all-or-nothing hitter with a high K-rate. But something changed between the end of his junior year and his summer in Lowell. Dalbec went back to an open stance -- the same one used during the previous summer. His strikeout rate dropped to a manageable 25 percent, but the question remains if Dalbec can hit enough to overcome the strikeouts.
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