Bobby Dalbec is on a power surge.
The 12th-ranked Red Sox prospect homered in his third straight game on a three-hit night as Class A Advanced Salem rolled to a 9-1 win over Potomac on Saturday at Northwest Federal Field at Pfitzner Stadium.
Gameday box score
"I just stopped putting a lot of pressure on myself to produce," said Dalbec, who was hitting .227 through the end of June. "It ended up working out for me. I'm just doing what I'm capable of. I feel really good sticking with the process, just trying to do the little things well and not try to hit every pitch at once. Just sticking with what I know I can do."
After going yard in back-to-back contests, Dalbec made it a career-high three in a row in the third inning with a two-run shot, his Carolina League-leading 19th of the season. He sent a 2-2 pitch from Nationals No. 28 prospect Joan Baez over the right-center field fence to plate Red Sox No. 10 prospect C.J. Chatham, who singled in a run.
"I think this is me not trying to do too much," Dalbec said. "I have my bat through the zone longer so I can connect on more pitches. If I can get the ball in the air, there's a decent chance it's going to go out or split the gap. I'm trying to go gap-to-gap and have fun up there."
The 23-year-old kept it going in the fifth with a double to left, again scoring Chatham. He collected his third hit with an RBI double in the sixth.
Dalbec is riding a five-game hitting streak, including a four-hit night on Thursday. That effort was his only other three-hit performance this season.
"Once I stopped trying to hit the ball so hard and started letting my hands do some of the work, [it was a turning point,]" he explained. "I made a couple tweaks in my swing and feel a lot more ready to hit, and I think that's the big thing. I was stuck in between all year being late or too early on off-speed [stuff]. Now I'm committing to one approach and one plan and mold that into how I want to be each day."
At .245, his average is at its highest point of the season. With 19 homers, he's tied with Bryce Brentz (2012) for the single-season team record.
"I'm not trying to just make contact. A lot of people outside the organization, all they talk about are strikeout numbers and stuff like that," Dalbec said. "It's going to happen. That's the thing being a power hitter: it's frustrating sometimes, but it's not something I put too much thought into. I treat a weak contact groundout the same as a strikeout. I focus on quality at-bats and getting deep into the count when I need to. I think I've done a pretty good job at that, my walk numbers are a lot higher. I'm trying to make it all come together without pressing."
Chatham also picked up three hits and scored three times, while Ryan Scott belted a three-run homer in the sixth to complete the Salem scoring.
Red Sox No. 2 prospect Tanner Houck (4-10) halted a personal three-game slide, allowing one run on three hits and two walks with five strikeouts over a career-high seven innings.
"He pitched great," Dalbec said. "He works very hard and he's very intense. It's fun to play behind guys like that. He made some really good pitches tonight."