Category Archives: Portland Sea Dogs

Plenty of excitement as well as baseball at Hadlock as Reading wins 8-7 over Portland

The Philadelphia Phillies top prospect (Alec Bohm) played for the AA Reading Fighin Phils in Portland tonight.

(Portland ME) Ever watch a group of young kids attempt to play musical chairs with no idea what the object of the game is?

Musical chairs winner exits the winning seat

That, and plenty more, was part of the fun at Hadlock Field tonight.

Reading shortstop Arquimedes Gamboa strikes a pre-game post

And there was a ballgame too!

The Reading Fightin Phils won 8-7 in ten innings.

There were lengthy line hours before the gates opened thanks to a promotion that gifted the first one thousand customers with an Andrew Benindendi bobble head.

And to add to the excitement, the ten millionth fan also was noted on this night and that brought out the local TV networks.

I drove through thunder and lightning to get to the game. My intention was to check out the Phillies top prospect (Alec Bohm) and the other prospects of the National League team.

Alec is a tall (6-5) third baseman with a home run swing.  That swing produced a 4-base blast (his 13th) to centerfield off Konner Wade.

Alec was picked first by the Phillies (3rd overall) in 2018, out of Wichita State.  He is 23 and on the fast track to the big team.

Mickey Moniak

Mickey Moniak was a first-round pick in 2016 out of high school.  Only 21, the young outfielder is leading the Eastern League in triples.  He notched his 13th tonight.  Very aggressive at the plate.

Jarren Duran is the top Boston prospect still with Portland.  Bobby Dalbec and CJ Chatham have moved on to Pawtucket.  Jarren has the speed to turn a routine grounder to short into a close play.  I suspect that Jarren starts at Portland in 2020 but will reach Pawtucket during the season.

Outfielder Marcus Wilson is the other ranked prospect with Portland.  He had a homer tonight to send the game into extra innings.

Slugger comes close tonight

Slugger ran a solid race tonight.  He didn’t trip.  He didn’t engage someone/anyone in conversation and get side-tracked. On this night the competition was serious (the kid had a great shirt) but the big guy hung in there.  If the young man had faltered, Slugger was close enough near home plate to get there first…….but the kid didn’t falter and the losing streak continues.

Musical chairs, on this night, was the highlight of the between-innings activities in my opinion.  The young ladies involved were excited.  I’m guessing 5-year-olds.  It was quickly obvious that none of them had ever played musical chairs.  They saw chairs and they jumped on them!  Of course, you jump on an inflatable and it’s likely to fall over…and they did.  The music played and the girls were already all over the chairs.  Next they learned that they had to wait until the music stopped before taking a seat.  One girl waited beside an empty seat instead of getting into it.  That didn’t go so well for her. It was also interesting to watch the girls enlarge the circle by running around the Hadlock staff members as well as the chairs.  A winner was finally determined but because of the size discrepancy between the chair and the participant nearly vanished from sight.  The crowd loved it.

Happy musical chairs participants

Hadlock continues to be friendly for all ages and all levels of baseball IQ.  I highly recommend a visit there before the season ends in very early September.

Thanks again to Chris Cameron for enabling me to witness the activities at Hadlock.

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Alec Bohm after striking out to end an inning

Alec Bohm congratulated after homer

Alec Bohm leads off first as Konner Wade pitches

Alec Bohm on first with 1B Joey Curletta

Alec Bohm takes a cut

Austin Rei

Brett Netzer

Charlie Madden

Cornelius Randolph

Daniel McGrath

David Parkinson

Grant Dyer, Jakob Hernandez, and Jeff Singer

Jarren Duran bats

Jarren Duran hustles to first

Jarren Duran

Jeremy Rivera

Jhon Nunez

1B Joey Curletta

Luke Williams

Marcus Wilson homered in the 9th

Mauricio Llovera

3B Mike Osinski

Nick Maton

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Filed under Portland, Portland Sea Dogs, Reading, Reading Fightin Phils

Daniel McGrath: How good is this bloke?

Daniel McGrath has been exceptional for Portland lately

One run in the last 59 innings

(Portland ME) The question needs to be asked after the Australian continued on a roll that has had him allow only ONE run in his last fifty-nine innings of pitching for the Portland Sea Dogs.

Daniel was connected to the Doncaster Dragon in Melbourne (Australia) seven years ago as a 17-year-old.  His pitching promise, while with the Dragons, attracted the interest of fifteen major league teams.  The Red Sox signed him for $400,000.

Since then?  He’s had his moments but has hardly turned a whole lot of heads……….until recently.

Daniel was the Player-of-the-Month in the Eastern League for July.

After tonight’s 1-0 win over the Erie SeaWolves, his ERA is a remarkable 1.34.  Daniel toiled seven innings versus Erie and allowed only three hits.  He’s struck out a season-high nine SeaWolves.

Daniel Pinero caught off base in the second inning

Erie had a great chance in the second to put a dent into Daniel’s ERA.  The visitors had runners on first and third with no outs.  But the lefty can not only pitch, he also has a nifty pickoff move.  Daniel Pinero was victimized straying from first and then the next two batters were retired with no runs scoring.

I’ll admit that I didn’t go to Hadlock Field last night to see Daniel McGrath.

It was Casey Mize I wanted to get a look at.  Casey is the Eastern League’s top prospect.  He was the first pick in the major league draft in 2018.  He dazzled at Auburn University averaging nearly thirteen strikeouts per game.

He was promoted to Erie this season after a few starts in the lower minors.  Result?  No-Hitter against Altoona in his first EL start!

Casey Mize gave up only five hits in six innings

Casey scuffled in his last start (Binghamton) allowing seven hits and six runs in 3 1/3 innings. He was much better tonight at Portland.

The native of Alabama allowed only five hits in six innings.  Now 6-2, he is very good but on this night, it was Daniel McGrath that had the buzz-worthy performance.

To watch Daniel pitch as masterfully as he did, couldn’t have come at a better time for Red Sox fans.  The last week has been a pitching nightmare for the Boston team.  Those expensive arms on the Big Club have been a tough watch night after night.

Daniel pitched once at Pawtucket (AAA) this season.  He certainly has earned some more time there.  I hope it happens.

Nice crowd with nice weather.

Casey Mize was the first pick in the 2018 major league draft

I have always had the sense that most attendees to minor league games know little about the players.  Tonight was a bit different.  As I waited to get pictures of Casey Mize warming up, there was a good collection of fans nearby doing the same thing.  They had heard about Casey Mize.

Casey, by the way, will reach the majors by this time next year.  He’s just too good to hold back.  Plus they invested $7,500,000 on him when they signed him.

Slugger was in camouflage gear carrying a branch.  It is fair to say that the Big Guy can not be carrying things and expect to compete.  The competition tonight was short in size as well as short in experience.  The young opponent had to be guided onto the field, around the bases, and off the field………..and still he wasted Slugger.  Embarrassing.

Thanks to Chris Cameron for arranging the pleasant visit for me.

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Brett Netzer – had the Sea Dogs RBI

Casey Mize

Casey Mize

CJ Chatham

CJ Chatham – leads EL in hitting

Daniel McGrath between innings

Derek Hill – 28th on Tigers prospect list

Luke Tendler (10) slides back into 3rd

Marcus Wilson – 18th on Red Sox prospect list

Matthew Gorst was signing before the game

Slugger’s opponent

Isaac Paredes 5th best prospect in the Detroit farm system

Jhon Nunez (catcher)

Joey Curletta

Josh Lester at 3B

Diving back to first

 

 

 

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Filed under Erie Seawolves, Portland, Portland Sea Dogs

Hartford edges Portland 3-2 despite strong pitching by Bryan Mata

Bryan Mata continues to pitch well at Portland

Luis Castro slides home as catcher Jhan Nunez waits for throw

(Portland ME) Another beautiful day of baseball at Hadlock.

The Sea Dogs didn’t win (They lost 3-2 to Hartford) but the setting was great with a throng of brightly-dressed campers filling the seats.

The noon start gave summer camps from all over Maine (I saw a bus from Bangor) the time-frame needed to see an entertaining baseball game in an equally entertaining setting.

The weather was spot on with a ton of sun.  I was near the Hartford dugout as one of the umpires came there early asking for sunscreen.

Portland has some attractive prospects (Bobby Dalbec, CJ Chatham, Bryan Mata, and Jarren Duran) and all were on the field today.

I am usually located at either the end of the Portland dugout or the visitor’s dugout. I consider myself an open target for a line drive, or a hot grounder, but if you want to get a good action shot, or an individual player shot, it’s where you must be.  I did have a Binghamton Met’s reserve tell me he’d protect me!

Bobby Dalbec

The current player at-the-bat who scares me plenty is righty Bobby Dalbec.  This kid is big and swings with authority.  He leads the Eastern League in home runs and hits long shots to all fields.  I always hope/pray, when he’s at bat, that the pitcher doesn’t throw a changeup for him to turn on.  I had the same feeling last season when hard-swinging Bo Bichette batted for the NH Fisher Cats.

It’s not news but I am quite certain that Bobby will be moved to Pawtucket in August.  He has power but he also leads the EL in walks.  He was the DH this afternoon but in previous visits I have seen him play a solid third base.

Bryan Mata continues to pitch well with little to show for it.  Today it was six innings and one earned run……….and the loss.  He pitches in the mid-90s and is only 20 years old.  You would think that with the current state of the Boston pitching staff, Bryan would be attracting plenty of interest from the Red Sox higher ups.

Jarren Duran takes a lead

It was nice to see the stands packed with kids.  Some of the camps were organized enough to chant and cheer.

CJ Chatham was at short in this game.  There have been reports that he would spend more time at second so that the way to the higher levels would be less difficult.  Xander, current Red Sox shortstop, isn’t going anywhere, any time soon!  CJ now leads the Eastern League in batting.  Maybe CJ will get to Pawtucket before the season ends too.

Outfielders Jarren Duran and Marcus Wilson have plenty of speed.  Today was my first look at Marcus.  Both are twenty-two and should be with Portland into next season.  They also could be trade bait in the coming days to fetch some relief help for the big team.

I also did my homework on the Sea Dogs’ opponent and their prospects.  Hartford is in the Colorado Rockies system.  I suspect that distance has a lot to do with the fact that only three of their top thirty prospects are in Connecticut.

Tyler Nevin is their 5th best prospect.  He was the Rockies first-round pick in 2015.  The 22-year-old was in left today, although he does play first and third.  Yes, he is Phil’s son.  If you’re old enough to remember Phil, you’ll notice the facial resemblance. Phil, by the way, is now the third-base coach with the Yankees.

Colton Welker

I thought that I might see outfielder Colton Welker. He was in the dugout but on the 7-day DL.

They did have the usual race between a youngster and the Sea Dog mascot.  Only problem was that Slugger wasn’t that mascot. First time I’ve seen that happen in all the years I’ve been coming to Hadlock.  Slugger has never won this race and I can assure you that his replacement today, some sort of fish, was no better.  He indeed was a fish out of water, and he was out of water as he reversed his way over first base.  He was no competition for the speedy kid.  I’d like to know what happened to Slugger.  Maybe he needs some fresh legs.

I certainly appreciate the opportunity to be in the good spots at Hadlock to see the action.  Much thanks to Chris Cameron for arranging my visits.

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Tyler Nevin takes a practice swing

Tyler Nevin in left

Tyler Nevin

Play at second

Play at second base….CJ Chatham slides

Pickoff attempt

Hartford starter, and winning pitcher, Matt Dennis

Marcus Wilson

Manny Melendez leads off first base

Manny Melendez

Kid rounds third base

Manager Joe Oliver had a birthday today

Fish sets to swim

CJ Chatham

Catching lobsters

Carlos Herrera (shortstop)

Carlos Herrera (shortstop) starts a double play

Bryan Mata sets to throw to first

Catcher Brian Serven was impressive

Brett Netzer tags out Manny Melendez

Bobby Dalbec reports for work

Bobby Dalbec in the Portland dugout……..but for how long?

Arvincent Perez practice swinging

Alexander Guillen

 

 

 

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Filed under Hartford Yard Goats, Portland Sea Dogs

Barrett Barnes homer and Tommy Wilson pitching get Binghamton past Portland 3-1

Brett Netzer slides as Jason Krizan takes throw

Barrett Barnes had the big hit for Binghamton (2-run homer)

(Portland ME) Barrett Barnes took Bryan Mata deep (2-run homer) in the first inning and those runs held up as Binghamton defeated Portland, 3-1, on Sunday afternoon at Hadlock Field.

The Sea Dogs have Eastern League leaders in hitting (CJ Chatham) and homers (Bobby Dalbec) but it didn’t matter as the Rumble Ponies still won four-of-five from Portland.

Plenty of entertainment at Hadlock today with princesses and pirates getting special attention.

I like to try to get pictures of Red Sox players who are likely to move on to Pawtucket before the season is over.  CJ and Bobby are in that category.

CJ Chatham at shortstop this afternoon

When they started using CJ at second recently, instead of short, I suspected that Pawtucket/Boston could be in his future this season.

Both Bobby and CJ were drafted in 2016 by Boston.

I got my first look at Boston’s #22 prospect, Jarren Duran.  Noted for his speed, I hoped he would try to steal. Didn’t happen.

Binghamton has ten of the New York Mets top thirty prospects on their roster.  That is a lot!

#1 prospect Andres Gimenez (shortstop) was not in the lineup but was in the dugout. That was all I needed.

Plenty of sunshine with a brief interlude of rain late in the game.

Slugger continued his losing streak.  He got himself matched up with a young, gifted speedster and was in trouble from the get-go.  Slugger does not have a manager to tell him that wearing a sword while running has danger written all over it.  He tried it anyhow and was lucky that he didn’t impale himself.

Slugger decides to run in costume wearing a sword

Winner eyes the competition as he heads for third.

Winner floats into third base

Winner hits the plate

Tommy Wilson notched first Double A win today

Very impressed with Binghamton starter Tommy Wilson.  He held the Sea Dogs to just two hits during his six innings of pitching and ended up with his first Double A victory.

Thanks to Chris Cameron for arranging my visit.

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Relaxing in the dugout

Brett Netzer

Andres Gimenez

Jarren Duran bats

Andres Gimenez and Luis Carpio

Baserunner Brett Netzer

Umpire Taka Matsuda and Portland manager Joe Oliver appear to be singing a duet

CJ Chatham in the air as Sam Haggerty slides in

Jarren Duran leaves Sea Dogs dugout

Brett Netzer checks positioning notes

Bryan Mata started for Portland

CJ Chatham leaves the Portland dugout

Konner Wade signs

Bobby Dalbec at 3B

CJ Chatham and Brett Netzer tangle at second base

David Thompson

Miss Maine was in the house

Bobby Dalbec leaves the dugout

Andres Gimenez looks out from the Binghamton dugout

CJ Chatham heads in from the clubhouse

Quinn Brodey bats

 

 

 

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Filed under Binghamton Mets, Portland, Portland Sea Dogs

Pitching and power earns Portland its first Eastern League win

Darwinzon Hernandez struck out ten Reading batters in only five innings.

Bobby Dalbec and Jantzen Witte supplied the power for the Sea Dogs

Shortstop CJ Chatham

(Portland ME) The Portland Sea Dogs broke into the win column this afternoon defeating the Reading Fightin Phils, 6-0.

Winning pitcher Darwinzon Hernandez (1-0) struck out the side in the first inning and had ten K’s before he was finished after five innings.

Bobby Dalbec and Jantzen Witte were the hitting stars for Portland with nearly duplicate stats: three hits including a home run, two RBI, and two runs scored.

Reading (3-1) featured three former first-round picks: Cornelius Randolph (2015), Mickey Moniak (2016), and Adam Haseley (2017).

Mickey and Adam were in action today.  Both struggled to make contact…….Mickey (4 K’s), Adam (3 K’s).

Mickey Moniak

The weather was extremely cooperative for early April in Maine; temperatures in the high 50’s with no wind.

Chris Cameron told me pre-game that tomorrow (Monday) 1”-2” of snow is expected.  Now that’s more like it!

Portland (1-3) is a quick drive for me from Amesbury (MA) and I enjoy getting looks at the future stars of the Red Sox.  You can never be certain of who those stars will be.  I have pictures of Jackie Bradley and Travis Shaw when they were in Portland, but they weren’t highly touted in Double A.

Bobby Dalbec is, however, highly regarded by the Red Sox and I saw him reach Portland at the end of last season.  How long the power hitter will last at Portland is part of why I took an early run to Hadlock Field to see him while I could.

In today’s game Bobby ripped a homer over the left-field fence.

Playing third probably won’t get Bobby to the majors with Rafael Devers locked in there.  I’m thinking that first base would be a better spot for him.

Bobby Dalbec crosses home

Darwinzon Hernandez was signed by Boston in 2013 when he was 16-years-old.  From Venezuela, the left missed plenty of bats in his overpowering, 2-hit, afternoon.

Darwinzon could well be the first one off the Portland roster and onto the Pawtucket roster.

Newcomer CJ Chatham was the Sea Dogs shortstop.  He and Bobby Dalbec were both chosen by Boston in 2016.

I was definitely interested in getting pictures of the Phillies first-round picks.  Outfielder Mickey Moniak was actually the first pick in the entire draft in 2016.  He’s only twenty so there is plenty of time for him to move up in the Philadelphia system.

I love the atmosphere at Hadlock.  I think it’s because so many families show up.  You see kids with gloves, excited to be where “real” baseball is going on.

And there’s also family-friendly entertainment between every inning.  The between-inning contests often involve youngsters and are skillfully handled by the Sea Dogs staff.

A key piece of entertainment for me will always be Slugger’s race around the bases against a young fan.  I may be the only one that still believes that the big guy will win.

Today’s race was yet another disappointing one.  I had seen the promos of Slugger in the off-season.  I saw him doing back flips and splits and assumed that he was ready to get a win.

Today I thought that Slugger was way too kind to his young opponent. How so?  The youngster thought that the race ended at first base.  Instead of taking advantage, the big guy waited, giving the kid a chance to get guidance.  Then when they met at second, Slugger pointed to where the kid should run next!  All this helping turned today’s race into a last-base event and Slugger looked as if he was in great position to end the losing streak.  But then his lack of practice running did him in.  Slugger rounded first, heading home, and suddenly lurched into a bent-over stop. I thought he might lose his lunch.  While Slugger’s digestive disaster happened, his opponent leaped onto home place, the winner.

My assumption that Slugger was in running shape was obviously misguided.  It’s a long season and maybe he’ll get his second wind or at least lighten up on the pre-race food intake.

Adam Haseley

It must have happened on the recommendation of a photographer: both teams had numbers on the front of their uniforms as well as the backs.  Everyday photographers know the players by their faces.  The rest of us don’t.

I spoke with two people I follow on Twitter; Kevin Thomas (Portland Press Herald) and Kelley O’Connor (minor-league photographer).

I highly recommend a visit to Hadlock.  Affordable with an early viewing of some possible future major leaguers.

Two close plays at second:

Luke Tendler tagged by Jose Antequera

Tate Matheny tagged by Luke Williams

Thanks, as always, to Chris Cameron for arranging my visit.

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Bobby Dalbec

Chris Cameron

CJ Chatham

Joseph Monge and coach Angel Sanchez

Sea Dogs dugout

Tate Matheny caught in a rundown

Brett Netzer and CJ Chatham

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Portland Sea Dogs, Reading Fightin Phils

Eduardo Rodriguez and Christian Vazquez rehab in Portland

Eduardo Rodrriguez

Christian Vazquez

(Portland ME) The stars were out Monday night at Hadlock Field.

How often do you see a major leaguer at an Eastern League (AA) game?

Not often.  Well, on this night the Red Sox had TWO players rehabbing there……..catcher Christian Vazquez and pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez.

I was familiar close-up with both Boston players.  I had seen Christian a few years ago working his way up via Portland.  Eduardo had done a rehab at Portland earlier this season and I was on hand.

Bo Bichette looks back after striking out against ERod

You not only had the major leaguers, but you also had the first-place New Hampshire Fisher Cats in the house.  I had already been to Manchester (NH) a couple of times this season to see that talented team.

There was a very large Monday night crowd in the park.  You knew why the “extra’s” had come when loud ovations greeted announcements regarding Christian and Eduardo.  The normal reaction to players?  None.

The setting was coolish at 7PM after a hot day.

There were celebrations pregame for women in sports.  One of those honored was Kate Hall of Casco (ME).  There was a story about her in the Bridgton News several weeks ago.  She is a national track star hoping to make it to the next Olympics.  I heard the name, connected the dots and got a picture of her….I hope!.

Bobby Dalbec

The Fisher Cats have clinched the playoffs while the Sea Dogs have clinched the basement.  On this night it was as if the roles were reversed as Portland hit early and often on their way to a 12-6 win.

Christian drove in three runs while Eduardo pitched four scoreless innings.  Eduardo had hoped to go six innings but too many long counts prevented it.  (He said as much afterwards, according to the newspaper coverage.)  I probably could have been in that news conference if I had chased it.

Extra cameramen were at the park.  I knew that with lessening light I would forfeit action shots.  My goal was close-up shots and dugout shots.

I shifted to the New Hampshire side after several innings and found a good spot although I was sitting instead of standing.  A ground ball did come my way and was close.  You roll the dice when you put yourself (intentionally) in the line of fire.

I got more pictures of Bo Bichette.  Last year he excelled in A ball (top hitter in the minors) and this year, as a 20-year-old, has continued to star.  The New Hampshire shortstop leads the EL in hits, doubles, and several other categories.  He starts for Toronto next year or the year after, in my opinion.

Cavan Biggio

Harold Ramirez

Two other top talents at NH are Harold Ramirez (top EL batting average) and Cavan Biggio ( EL home run leader).  It interested me that Cavan (normally a 2nd baseman) was in right field for this one.

I also took more pictures of Bobby Dalbec.  He is one of Boston’s top prospects.  He has been at three levels this season and is tied for the lead in the minors in homers.

There always will be a Slugger section in my coverage of Sea Dogs’ games.  The big guy was out of uniform.  I can’t describe what he was wearing and why but at one point he was dancing with an umpire!  Needless to imagine, Slugger was outrun by yet another youngster.  Slugger got into a great starting stance, but it didn’t help.  His opponent was fast and knew what he was doing.  By the time second was crossed, Slugger was destined for second and that was where he finished.

Slugger in a solid starting stance

Another day for me at a great park.  Portland’s home season ends Thursday.  Where did the spring/summer go?

New Hampshire has qualified for the EL playoffs.  I might venture to New Hampshire for one of those games.

Thanks again to Chris Cameron for letting me into Hadlock and onto the field.  I greatly enjoy my time there.

(All of the pictures above and below should enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Prospects Bobby Dalbec and Bo Bichette

Bo Bichette near second

Bo Bichette rounds third

Bo Bichette finishing DP

Christian and Eduardo arrive pre-game

Slugger comes in second

Christian scores

Christian eyes bat

Danny Mars

Eduardo sets to pitch

Pitcher Jon Harris

Kate Hall

Play at second

 

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Filed under New Hampshire Fisher Cats, Portland, Portland Sea Dogs

Bobby Dalbec: A big hit in Portland

Bobby Dalbec poses in front of the Portland Sea Dogs dugout

Bobby Dalbec ready to hit.

(Portland ME) Sometimes batters get your attention in batting practice.

Bobby Dalbec of the Portland Sea Dogs is one of those players.

Thirteen games into the 23-year-olds promotion to Double A, he bears watching even before the game.

I took in the pregame yesterday at Hadlock Stadium and saw him drill BP pitches all over the place.

During BP the Altoona Curve was warming up in the left-field corner awaiting their turn to take over the field.  I’d hear the whack of bat meeting ball and watch players at least 300 feet away take a quick look to see if the ball was coming their way.  And several times it did.

I watched one of the Sea Dogs coaches, standing near second base, hear a ball go whizzing by his head and not have time to react.

The young man has power.  Between Salem (VA) in the Carolina League and his brief time in Portland, Bobby is tied for the top spot in the minors with 31 home runs.

“I know about where I am with home runs but I’m not going to chase them,” Bobby told me in a post-BP interview.  “I want to hit the ball hard.”

Portland broadcaster Mike Antonellis

Sea Dogs announcer Mike Antonellis added that, “Bobby isn’t trying to hit the ball out like some players do.  He’s not upper cutting but he generates so much power that they do go out.”

Mike, who reached 3000 games broadcasted recently, has seen all thirteen of Bobby’s Portland games and recalled two memorable homers already. “The most impressive one I’ve seen here (Hadlock Stadium) was one that cleared the Thomas College sign in center.  That sign is 24’ high.  Our trackman service estimated that the ball traveled 451 feet!  On the road he had one in Erie to left center that landed on the roof of their arena.  Some of the Erie people told me that they thought it was one of the longest ones they had ever seen there.”

Bobby relaxes in the dugout pregame with a teammate

Bobbly was one of the Portland players without a number on his practice jersey.  “That gives you away as the new guy,” I kidded him.

“I may be new here, but I know most of these guys from the lower minors,” he said, “it has been an easy transition for me to be in Portland.”

Bobby told him that his parents were in Portland for the weekend to see him play here for the first time.  They had taken two trips to Salem to catch him in the Carolina League.

Bobby is a third baseman but so is Boston’s #1 prospect Michael Chavis.  In tonight’s game Michael was at 3B and Bobby was DH.

“Bobby is 6’4” so he’s easy to see at 3B,” said Mike.  “He’s a former pitcher (Arizona) and has a terrific arm.”

There is so much data available on players that with his reputation he faced shifts even in A ball.  “I was aware of the shifts, but I just refused to change my approach at the plate to try and defeat it,” said Bobby.

Bobby Dalbec in the dugout with pitcher Teddy Stankiewicz

Mike explained that Double A can be tough for newcomers.  “The good one’s face shifts and they see more secondary pitches thrown by better guys.”

Mike told me that he was surprised that the righthanded-hitting Bobby was seeing a lot more fastballs early in counts since teams were shifting a bit toward the left side.

There are some comparisons between Bobby and JD Martinez. “Both players seem to have a similar plan at the plate,” said Mike, “and that is to hit the ball hard.  Both insist that they’re not intentionally going for homers”

Regarding his future Bobby said: “I’m just going to keep doing what I’ve been doing and see where it takes me.”  So far it has taken him this season from Boston’s #12 prospect to #6.

Bobby Dalbec

Red Sox 3B Rafael Devers may be younger (21) and entrenched a bit in Boston but Bobby’s power numbers and ability to play the position could move him up to Fenway sooner or later.

“I think he’s special,” added Mike. “There may be some adjustment periods, so we’ll have to see.”

One is left to wonder how the last-place Portland Sea Dogs (52-69) would have done in 2018 with Josh Ockimey, Michael Chavis, and Bobby Dalbec in action from the beginning of the season.

Mike Antonellis has been involved in broadcasting for twenty-two years.  “I started out doing sports updates at Dean Junior College,” he told me.  “I felt comfortable at it right away.  I have been with Portland since 2005 and have done 2000 games with them.”

My thanks to Mike for arranging my interview with Bobby Dalbec and adding to the information I had on the talented young man.

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Feeling at home in Portland

Bobby was the DH against Altoona

Heading out to bat

With Coach Luke Montz

On the move on the bases against Altoona

Set to bat

 

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Filed under Bobby Dalbec, Portland, Portland Sea Dogs