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Pacific Coast League notebook08/16/2010 10:00 AM ET
By Chris Jackson / Special to MLB.com
Sometimes the best moves a team makes are the ones it never intended to make in the first place. Take the San Francisco Giants, who drafted the wrong player in the 24th round in 2007.
They meant to take Lipscomb outfielder Casey Bond, but instead wound up selecting Missouri infielder Brock Bond.
Three years later Casey Bond is out of baseball, while Brock Bond just made his second straight Minor League All-Star team.
"Whether that's true or not, they've given me an opportunity and I've been grateful," Brock Bond said. "Fortunately I've been able to move up the system. All I can do is play hard and hope for the best. It's worked out so far."
Now with the Fresno Grizzlies, it has worked out quite well for Bond and the Giants organization.
Bond has hit .289 this season with 59 runs scored, 32 RBIs, 24 doubles and a .400 on-base percentage. He has more walks (63) than strikeouts (58), all while playing solid second base for Fresno.
"I think I've always been a patient, selective hitter," Bond said of his approach at the plate. "I've always known the strike zone, and I've always been able to put the ball in play. Playing against this higher-level pitching, you have to focus more. They don't give you any breaks.
"It also comes with experience. The more at-bats I get, I keep getting better. You've got to keep getting better at this game or you won't get to play it for very long."
Bond broke out at Double-A Connecticut last season when he led the league in batting (.333) and OBP (.429). He was an Eastern League All-Star, a feat he repeated in the Pacific Coast League this season.
"I was hopeful last year because I was having a good first half," Bond said. "When I found out, I was really excited about it because I hadn't been on an All-Star team in pro ball yet. It was a great experience.
"Finding out I was going this year, it was kind of a shock because there are so many great players at this level. It was a great experience too."
Bond has enhanced his resume by playing more positions than just second this season, spending time at third base and shortstop. Bond said any way he can get to the Majors would be a good way.
"I've worked my butt off over the years," he said. "Ever since I was a little kid, I always had the dream of playing in the big leagues. That dream hasn't gone away, and I don't think it will until I either make it or they force me out."
For now, though, Bond will continue to focus on helping Fresno (67-55) hold off Sacramento (65-57) for the Pacific South Division title.
First timer: Omaha CF Jarrod Dyson waited five years to do it, but his first career home run proved to be huge as he hit a grand slam in the Royals' 6-2 win over Sacramento on Friday. Dyson had gone 993 at-bats over 281 games before finally going deep in the second inning off Clay Mortensen.
Finally clutch: Oklahoma City 2B Guilder Rodriguez came through with the bases loaded Friday for the first time this season. Rodriguez had been 0-for-8 with the sacks full before delivering a two-run single in the fifth inning of a 10-8 win over Las Vegas.
Home sweet home: Cheney Field never looked better for the Tacoma Rainiers than it did Friday, as the road-weary club came home and snapped an eight-game losing streak with a 7-3 victory over Round Rock. The Rainiers lost every game of a road trip through Iowa and Omaha as their seven-game lead in the Pacific North Division became a half-game deficit behind Salt Lake.
Rally Cats: Sacramento pulled off the improbable feat of losing an 11-run lead and then overcoming an 11-run deficit in a four-day span. The River Cats blew a 12-1 lead against Albuquerque in a 13-12 loss Aug. 7, only to come back from an 11-0 deficit at Round Rock to win, 13-11, on Wednesday.