Bobby Dalbec
Is the Bobby Dalbec power surge legit? Can the Sox slugger remain a positive in the hit column without costing his team too much in the swing and miss column? (Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)

If the Boston Red Sox make a return to the postseason in 2021, Bobby Dalbec could be a big reason why. The former Arizona collegiate product made a big splash during his 2020 MLB debut. With Dalbec currently slotted in as the everyday first baseman, can he hang onto the position long term and maintain his power stroke?

Dalbec slashed .263/.359/.600 with eight homers in 23 games after being called up after the Red Sox traded Mitch Moreland. Dalbec, 25, hit 59 homers over his final two seasons in the minors. Dalbec’s raw power is special.

The problem is we don’t know if his power will outweigh the swing and miss. Michael Chavis is another young player that was called up and made a strong impression. The problem is his swing and miss to this point and outweighed the good. A 42.4 percent strikeout rate ain’t it chief.

Dalbec just needs to hit enough dingers to the point where he’s not a negative. I’m not sure what that magic number is, but Dalbec needs to cut down on the swing and miss. Look, I’m sure that’s easier said than done, we just don’t know what Dalbec is at this point.

The thing that makes it interesting is the Tristan Casas factor. Casas has been dubbed as the next big thing in the Sox system. Think Eric Hosmer except more upside. If Casas is a hit, Dalbec loses his job. 2021 is Dalbec’s chance to prove he belongs in Boston’s lineup for the foreseeable future.

Are we talking about a .200 hitter that hits 30 homers or a .260 hitter with 40 homers? At this point, I’m not ruling out either scenario. The only thing I know is that Dalbec is one of the biggest X-Factors in the sport this year.