Boston Red Sox

Sep 8, 2020; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Boston Red Sox third baseman Bobby Dalbec (29) celebrates with center fielder Alex Verdugo (99) after hitting a home run during the sixth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

By Tony Massarotti, 98.5 The Sports Hub

The Red Sox are hardly in a position to be picky when it comes to young talent, so take this for what it’s worth. But Bobby Dalbec is precisely the kind of player you should hate.

To be clear, this isn’t about Dalbec specifically so much as it is about players like him, of which there are now far too many. Since arriving in the major leagues on Aug. 30, Dalbec is batting .250 with a 1.033 OPS in nine major league games. He has homered in four straight games entering tonight’s meeting between the Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays. Dalbec has good power to all fields, something he demonstrated here in a doubleheader loss (what else?) to the Philadelphia Phillies two days ago.

So, is there a reason for Red Sox fans to get excited about him? Sure. Maybe. Again, the Sox have decidedly few good young players in their minor league system, so anything helps at this point. But not so long ago, one major league evaluator suggested Dalbec was a lot like Michael Chavis, who got off to a roaring start with the Red Sox last year.

In his last 96 games, Chavis has now struck out 135 times in in 339 at-bats with just 10 home runs and a .658 OPS. And if he’s not hitting for power – or if he’s not hitting at all – he’s not useful for much else.

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All of this brings us back to Dalbec, who is, again, a seeming prototype for the modern major league player: big power, little contact, not much else. Aside from Dalbec’s five homers, he has just three hits in his remaining 27 at-bats – all singles. He has struck out in a whopping 45.7 percent of his plate appearances, a number that is third highest among 427 major leaguers this season with at least 30 plate appearances.

So you tell me: are people like Dalbec really baseball players?

Or are they just up there swinging from their heels in the event they actually hit something?

Listen to the latest episode of The Baseball Reporters with Mazz:

You can hear Tony Massarotti weekdays from 2-6 p.m. EST on the Felger & Massarotti program. Follow him on Twitter @TonyMassarotti.