The Boston Red Sox had a mostly quiet 2021 trade deadline.
The team made one major splash by trading for a heavy hitter in Kyle Schwarber, but aside from that, the deadline lacked fireworks for Boston.
A lot of fans were disappointed by that.
In fact, when the Red Sox found themselves in a post-deadline slump, some fans in Boston went as far as to say that Chief Baseball Officer Chaim Bloom ruined the team’s season at the deadline.
Emotions have cooled off since then, which is likely because Boston has been playing better baseball lately.
The team has won 10 of its last 17 games.
While that’s not overly impressive, it’s a major improvement compared to the club’s miserable 3-11 stretch that took place in August.
Right now, Red Sox fans are liking what they’re seeing.
And one player in particular has had a lot to do with that: Bobby Dalbec.
The rookie had a miserable first half of the season, but he has been crushing the ball since the trade deadline.
He’s getting hot at the perfect time for Boston.
Here’s everything you need to know.
The Youngster Has Turned A Corner
Up until the July 30 deadline, Dalbec was struggling to produce serviceable results.
In addition to having a negative WAR, he had below-league-average marks in batting average, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage.
A lot of fans in Boston were of the mindset that he wasn’t ready to be an everyday MLB player.
But since the deadline, he has proved that notion wrong.
For more than a month, he has been playing like the elite prospect the Red Sox hoped they had.
The youngster is slashing .319/.402/.723 over his last 33 games.
Over that span, he has homered 10 times, doubled six times, and tripled once.
The stretch has boosted his overall numbers on the year to respectable territory, as he now has a .777 OPS, 102 OPS+, and 105 wRC+.
Boston can absolutely live with that.
His Defense At First Base Has Improved Lately
Dalbec’s recent success hasn’t been limited to his offensive production—he has also been playing with some added confidence in the field.
Now, let’s get this out of the way: Overall, he’s not a great defender at first base.
He has -8 Defensive Runs Saved this season and a -1.3 defensive WAR.
Those are very poor marks.
But lately, he has been showing signs of serious growth defensively.
See for yourself:
— Chris Henrique (@ChrisHenrique) September 9, 2021
— Jamie Gatlin (@JamieGatlin17) September 4, 2021
Bobby Dalbec is a hitting machine right now but he just had some of the most incredible defensive plays in the top of the 7th. The insane diving stop, cheating over to 2nd (hello analytics) to get the stop, & then another chopper to get the play at 1. All outs courtesy of him.
— Cealey Godwin (@CealeyGodwin) September 9, 2021
We also have to keep in mind that first base isn’t Dalbec’s natural position.
Third base is actually his preferred territory.
With superstar Rafael Devers manning the hot corner for Boston, Dalbec has been forced into somewhat unfamiliar territory at first base.
He deserves credit for taking on the task.
Wrap-Up: Dalbec’s Hot Stretch Makes Boston’s Quiet Deadline Easier To Stomach
As mentioned, Red Sox fans were frustrated by the team’s quiet deadline.
But with the way Dalbec has been playing over the past month, Boston essentially added two key players at the deadline: Schwarber and the new-look Dalbec.
We’ll see if the 26-year-old can stay hot the rest of the way.