Fresno Grizzlies' Chris Dominguez on target for career year

The Fresno BeeJune 12, 2014 

Nearing the halfway point of the Pacific Coast League season, Chris Dominguez is on pace to have his best year as a member of the San Francisco Giants' organization.

That's saying something, since it was just a year ago, in his first season with the Triple-A Fresno Grizzlies, that he posted a career-high .294 average to go with 15 homers and 65 RBIs.

Through the first 68 games in 2014, of which the infielder/outfielder has played 59, he is down to .281 but has homered eight times and driven in 40.

"It's learning. It's playing with older guys and just a different approach," said Dominguez, 0 for 3 Thursday but on the winning side as the Grizzlies beat Iowa 5-2.

"We have a group of older guys and I always go to them and ask. We're a cohesive group and have everything on this team, good pitching and a good lineup, so you can learn something from everybody."

He has 12 doubles and three triples, after totaling 24 and five in 132 games in 2013.

The ex-University of Louisville standout, drafted 85th overall by the Giants in 2009, is on track to surpass most of his numbers from last year, and there's still 76 games to be played.

"He's done a nice job for us," hitting coach Andy Skeels said. "He's a big bat in our lineup who offers us protection that some of the other guys can't. It's hard to ignore his presence."

Dominguez resembles an NFL linebacker at 6 feet, 4 inches and 235 pounds, and is bigger than both of parent club San Francisco's primary third basemen — the panda-sized Pablo Sandoval and the lanky Joaquin Arias.

His size doesn't seem to slow him much. In addition to all of those doubles and triples, Dominguez has a team-high 12 steals in 16 attempts.

Dominguez is hitting .363 with runners on and .345 when they're in scoring position. If there's a deficiency, it's his strikeout rate. On Thursday, he fanned three times, giving him 61 in 231 at-bats.

But he also is versatile in the field, making starts at third, first and the outfield corners. Even then, he's blocked behind the Giants' fully loaded arsenal.

"You try not to think about it too much, because you can get caught up in it," Dominguez said of a potential call-up. "I'll play infield or outfield. Either one is especially good for the National League. Wherever they put me, I just want to play and they know that."

 

The reporter can be reached at amoreno@fresnobee.com, (559) 441-6401 or @anhelllll on Twitter.

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