College Baseball Countdown: 44 Days to Go- Bobby Dalbec

Bobby DalbecSometimes, a dynamic star in college baseball can be overlooked thanks to being somewhat overshadowed by excellent teammates. Other times, a star can be overlooked because his team isn’t among the best teams in the nation.

In the case of Bobby Dalbec of the Arizona Wildcats, those have both been true.

Over the last couple of years, Scott Kingery and Kevin Newman have starred as a middle infield duo just about as good as any in the country. They excelled through their Arizona careers, and after last season, Newman was taken in the first round by the Pirates, with Kingery not far behind, heading to the Phillies in the second round. As good as Dalbec has been, it’s tough when you have two all-conference-type players on the roster, who also happen to be elite MLB prospects.

At the same time, Arizona was struggling on the field. In Dalbec’s two seasons on campus, the Wildcats have missed the postseason altogether in both seasons, and they have gone a combined 21-39 in conference play over that same timeframe.

Despite perhaps not being a household name in college baseball, though, Bobby Dalbec has clearly emerged as one of the very best two-way players in the country.

As a freshman in 2014, he immediately made a big difference on the mound. In 22 appearances, all in relief, he threw 38 innings with a 2.13 ERA. His bat was a little bit behind, as he hit .266 with two homers and 30 RBI, but even then, you always heard raves about his raw power.

Then, as a sophomore, his bat caught up, and he quickly became one of the best power bats not only in the Pac-12, but in the entire country. He hit .319/.410/.601 with 15 home runs and 53 RBI. He was also pretty effective on the mound once again. In 21 appearances (seven starts), he threw 61.2 innings with a 3.21 ERA, saving five games along the way.

His role moving forward remains a little bit in flux. Certainly he’s going to be a mainstay in the lineup every day, but on the mound, he could be a member of the weekend rotation or a cog at the back end of the bullpen.

Either way, Dalbec is a wonderful weapon for new head coach Jay Johnson to have at his disposal, and big things are expected in the 2016 season.

About the Author

Joseph Healy
Joe Healy was first introduced to college baseball when he grew up watching the likes of Jeff Niemann, Philip Humber, and Wade Townsend pitch for Rice University. To say it was love at first sight would be an understatement. That love only grew as he went off to college at Sam Houston State University, where he practically lived at Don Sanders Stadium watching his Bearkats under the direction of the legendary Mark Johnson. He holds a B.A. in political science from SHSU and is working toward his Masters in Public Administration from SIU-Edwardsville in Edwardsville, Illinois.