Q&A with Josh Harrison

INF Josh Harrison capped off a strong college career at Cincinnati this season, leading the team with a .378 average and 22 doubles in 59 games. Selected with the Cubs' sixth-round pick in this year's draft, Harrison, who turns 21 next month, was assigned to Class Low-A Boise for the start of short-season minor league play after coming to contract terms with Chicago this week.

What kind of hitter would you describe yourself as? It would seem that judging from your numbers, you're primarily a gap hitter.

JOSH HARRISON: Yeah, I would say so. I hit the ball where the pitcher throws it and try not to do too much with it. I hit the ball where it's supposed to go and it's just resulted in a lot of doubles for me.

You played a lot of different positions in college. Is the one you're at now the one you're most comfortable with, and what's your "natural" position?

HARRISON: Out of high school, my natural position was shortstop. My freshman year, I came in and I don't think I really had a set position; I was just (playing) wherever we needed somebody. Last year (2007), I spent the majority of the time at third base. I got real comfortable there and then this year they moved me to second.

It took awhile to get adjusted to being on that side (of the field). The last half of the season, I started to become a little more comfortable, so right now I'd say that second base is probably my default position.

You committed 19 errors this season. Is that maybe the result of the learning curve you went through adapting to a new position?

HARRISON: Yeah, I'd definitely say that. Just with repetition and practice and everything, I started to get more comfortable. The last half of the season, I don't know how many errors I made, but it was slim to none and it was to a point where I was able to be comfortable playing that position.

Being from Cincinnati and growing up there, were you surprised not to be drafted by the Reds?

HARRISON: Not really. Throughout the years, Cincinnati really doesn't have a great reputation of drafting people from here. It didn't surprise me at all. It was one of those things where I just wanted a shot and the Cubs were the one to pull the trigger.

What did the Cubs say to you leading up to the draft?

HARRISON: Before the draft, I talked to Lukas McKnight, the (area scout) that got my name on the board. He had called me a couple of days or a week before the draft and asked me if I was ready to go. I told him I was ready to play and that signability was not going to be an issue. He said he'd keep in contact with me, that I was on the draft board and that they were looking at me and to keep my phone by me. I saw my name come up on the board and it was like a big weight lifted off my shoulder.

Tony Campana, one of your college teammates, was also drafted by the Cubs. Is it exciting to have a familiar face to maybe go up through the system alongside?

HARRISON: Yeah, it's real exciting. It's always good to be able to know somebody, wherever you're going. You're always going to have to meet some new people, but it's one of those things you can go through together. Instead of meeting new people by yourself, you can go in there together and that makes it a lot easier.

When you're not playing baseball, what are you doing?

HARRISON: I definitely would say listening to music or hanging with my friends and family. I'm a big family guy. I have a pretty big family and we're all close. I'm just relaxing, playing a few video games and just chilling out because baseball is a sport that gets you playing so much every day that when you get some time off, you just want to kick back and relax.


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