Q: You've been in this system now for six years. Looking back on it all, can you just reflect on some of the times you've had and some of the memories you've made?
A: I've had a lot of great experiences. It's been fun just kind of working my way up the organizational ladder, and some of the best memories I have are from that very first year in Peoria. It's nice that I've been able to stay in the same system. I remember my first couple of years just thinking that I was the new guy, and all of a sudden, it feels like the next day that I'm one of the veterans and one of the guy's that's been around forever. It's nice, though. It's cool to see all of the different people come through and to just meet some great people in this organization.
Q: What's been the high and the low point for you?
A: The high point I would definitely say was just being called up (to Chicago). And then last year I think was a high point, too, getting called up and getting my first major league hit, which I had to wait for a year or two. And then just playing well up there, that was definitely a great experience. The low points? I think any time you don't play well and have a frustrating year, that's the low point but all in all I wouldn't say there are too many.
Q: Especially in June, you're really hitting a lot better. Have you changed anything in your approach or your swing?
A: Nothing major. I've made a couple of minor adjustments, but I haven't really done anything dramatic. I've just stayed confident and trusted myself. Some of the slumps I had early on were just bad luck. I try not to worry about that too much and just persevere, and hopefully I keep it going.
Q: A lot of times, some of the guys at Triple-A say when they get off to a rough start that it's kind of a mental thing. Was that partly the case for you early this season?
A: It could be, I don't know. There's definitely a letdown any time that you don't make a team that you wanted, or you don't do well. I had a bad spring and my goal was to make the (Chicago) team out of camp and it didn't happen, so there might have been a little bit of a letdown. I try to be as mentally tough as I can and just block all that out, but I think naturally it plays a little bit of a factor.
Q: You're known for your strike zone discipline, your defense. What kind of goes through your mind when you see a ball that you know is going to be tough to get to and you go all out for it anyway?
A: There's not a whole lot going through my mind. That's the only way to do it is just rely on my instincts and in a way be as dumb as possible. If you start thinking about what could happen if you run into the wall or dive, that's when you get into trouble, so you have to be just fearless and almost go brain-dead out there.
Q: But you understand why some people would think you're a bit of a risk-taker and a little reckless with your body?
A: Yeah, I guess so, but it's something I feel I've always had to do. I need to do little things to help the team win, because I'm not too physically gifted. I've always had to do things like that to succeed.
Q: You know you're a fan favorite. You got a standing ovation on your last homestand for one of the plays you made defensively. If for some reason you're not able to get to the big leagues and stay there, would it be enough for you to come out to the ballpark on some level every night and make fans happy with what you do?
A: Yeah, it's fun. It's nice to be appreciated for the way you play. Whether that's here (in the minors) or the big leagues, obviously I prefer it to be in the big leagues. But no matter the setting, that's something I take a lot of pride in is just playing hard and have people appreciate that.