Cougars shortstop Marco Hernandez, 20, marked his fourth anniversary of joining the parent Cubs organization Wednesday. An undrafted free agent in July 2009, the Dominican Republic native entered Friday’s series finale with Great Lakes batting .251 in 74 games with a team-high 12 stolen bases. With the help of right-hander and translator Lendy Castillo, Kane County Chronicle sports reporter Kevin Druley caught up with Hernandez for the latest edition of the Weekend Chit-chat, addressing Hernandez’s season to date. The following is an edited transcript:
You’ve seen this park for a few months now. What are your impressions of it?
In the league, I feel like this is the field that I can play most fluid. This is the best field where I can play in the league. I like it here. I appreciate the opportunity to play here.
What’s allowed you to do well as a defensive shortstop?
I feel comfortable playing shortstop. My first year in the [Arizona Rookie League], I played second base a little bit, but the last two years, I’ve been playing shortstop because I’m comfortable playing shortstop.
On your batting helmet, there are two white tape stripes on the right ear flap. Why?
I want to try to make it look different from all the helmets when they’re all in the box. I can find mine easier.
Has anyone other than me ever thought you had braids or dreadlocks when you see that tape standing from far away?
No. Not that I know of.
How do you like playing with [Gioskar] Amaya at second base?
I love it. We played a little bit in the Arizona league and we played the whole year in Boise last year, too. … It’s easy when you know someone like that.
What’s your approach to stealing bases?
I like stealing bases depending on the counts. If I think it’s a breaking ball [count], I like to break, steal a base.