Q&A with Dylan Johnston

It was a nice turnaround for Dylan Johnston. After struggling in his first three years in the Chicago Cubs' farm system, the fourth-round pick from Hamilton (Ariz.) High School in the 2005 draft batted a career-high .288 with 15 home runs and 17 doubles in 78 games for Class-A Peoria a season ago.

Although a hamstring injury sidelined Johnston for nearly two months beginning in late June, he returned in mid-August and ended the season on a tear, batting .393 in his last 15 games of the season.
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Q: Last year was really the best year you'd put together. What was the key to the turn-around?

A: I just think I was in a positive frame of mind all year and working with (Peoria hitting coach) Desi Wilson really helped me out a lot. And just having fun. Last year was the first year I'd had fun I think since the year I signed.

Q: Why do you think that was? Why didn't you have fun before?

A: I put too much pressure on myself. Last year I think I just stepped back.

Q: Do you think being moved to the outfield helped you relax a bit more and take your mind off your struggles?

A: Yeah, I think so. I didn't have to really stress about defense anymore.

Q: How did you enjoy the outfield and is it a permanent move?

A: Yeah, so far. I'm out there still and have been playing right field this spring.

Q: You went to big league spring training and got a couple of at-bats there. What was the experience like, if only for a couple of days?

A: It was good. Those were my first two at-bats of the spring. It was fun.

Q: Did you get any advice from Lou Piniella and any of the players?

A: Not really. Everybody is kind of doing there own thing out there. They don't talk much to the minor league guys.

Q: Are you working on being more selective and taking walks now that you've sort of gotten your average straightened out?

A: I'm trying to, yeah. I want to try to lower my strikeouts this year.

Q: This will be your fifth year in the system. Do you have an idea of the type of hitter you are or at least the one you want to be?

A: I think I can be a guy that drives in a lot of runs and hits the ball for some power.

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