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Simon Emilio Pond

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Long-time minor leaguer Simon Pond had a cup of coffee in the majors and played for Canada in the 2004 Olympics. He began his career when the Montréal Expos took him in the 8th round of the 1994 amateur draft and assigned him to the GCL Expos, where he hit .259/.329/.406. In '95, Pond slipped to .150/~.271/.211 for the same club. and hit .213/~.250/.275 with the Albany Polecats.

In 1996, Pond hit .300/~.366/.407 as the third baseman for the Vermont Expos. Vermont won the New York-Penn League pennant and Pond made the All-Star team as a utility infielder. He was 10th in the NY-Penn in average. Simon moved up to the '97 Cape Fear Crocs and produced at a .270/~.326/.315 rate. The ponderous Pond led the South Atlantic League by grounding into 22 double plays, though his .925 fielding percentage was the best of any third baseman in the loop.

At age 21, Simon hit .238/~.288/.297 with the Jupiter Hammerheads and briefly played for the Harrisburg Senators. Returning to Jupiter in '99, Pond batted .256/~.330/.387 while moving primarily to first base. His 11 sacrifice flies led the Florida State League that season. Still in Jupiter the next year, he couldn't get the ball into orbit much with a .206/.315/.365 line. He was dealt to the Cleveland Indians for future considerations and hit .321/.383/.473 with the Kinston Indians.

In '01, Pond hit .340/.400/.567 in 25 games for Kinston and got called up to the Akron Aeros, where he hit .268/.320/.443 with 29 doubles. Let go by Cleveland, he was picked up by the Toronto Blue Jays and returned for a 8th year in A ball, hitting .284/.357/.479 with the Dunedin Blue Jays and led the Florida State League with 11 intentional walks.

The 26-year-old batted .338/.440/.513 in 61 games for the 2003 New Haven Ravens (only fielding .890 at third in a return there) and .306/.353/.460 for the Syracuse SkyChiefs with 38 doubles overall.

2004 was Pond's career year. He had a .278/.325/.434 batting line for Syracuse and got into 16 games for the 2004 Blue Jays, hitting only .163/.250/.265. He also got a chance to play for Canada in the 2004 Olympics that year but went 1 for 16 with 9 strikeouts.

In '05, Simon was picked up by the Boston Red Sox as a non-roster invitee and signed to a deal, playing one game for the Pawtucket Red Sox (2 for 4) before being traded to the Baltimore Orioles for future considerations. He hit .266/.341/.473 with the Bowie Baysox as an OF-1B-DH. He homered a career-high 19 times but whiffed 114 times. The Pittsburgh Pirates then picked him up as a minor league free agent and he batted .249/.335/.416 with 32 doubles, 78 RBI and 121 strikeouts. Many Pirates fans cited the presence of a 31-year-old guy like Pond at AA as a sign of the team's lack of hitting prospects under the Dave Littlefield regime. It was Pond's final season.

Main Sources: 1995-2006 Baseball Almanacs, Altoona Curve website

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