Kane County Cougars second baseman Daniel Lockhart went 4 for 9 during a brief stint at Triple-A Iowa last season. Naturally, the subject of the latest Weekend Chit-chat aspires to reach that level again – and beyond – but knows the parent Cubs are bringing him along more progressively. A 10th-round pick in 2011, Lockhart, the son of former Major Leaguer and current Cubs area scout Keith Lockhart, batted .290 in 67 games for Short-A Boise last season. Here’s an edited transcript of his conversation with Chronicle sports reporter Kevin Druley:
I know you’re not from these parts (Lockhart was born in Nashville, Tenn.), but have you gotten up here much before?
The last time I actually was up here, I was watching the Braves play the Cubs at Wrigley, and I was probably about 11 years old. That was probably the last time I’ve been up in Chicago. … That was the first time I’ve been to Wrigley Field, you know. Went early, watched BP and stuff like that and got to walk around, see everything. So that was kind of cool. First time I’d seen the stadium and everything. And that was the last time I’ve been there, but it was pretty neat.
How would you describe your approach to baseball?
Just try to give it 100 percent all the time. I’m not the biggest guy or anything, but I’m going to play hard no matter what. Not a big power guy, just kind of get on base and score runs. Basically, that’s about all.
As a club, [manager Mark Johnson] was saying that everyone can do that. You guys are quick and can steal bases.
Last year, I think they were a little bit more of a home run-hitting team. This year, we might not necessarily be leading the league in home runs and stuff, but we have a lot more speed, a solid defense and things that are going to be able to win ballgames. Like defense and being able to steal bases; you get a single, steal a base and another single, and that’s a run. I think this is going to be a team that manufactures more runs and is going to be more dangerous on the base paths than years before.
Do you get all around the horn, or mostly middle infield?
Mostly middle infield. I mean, I’ll stick a good bit at second and move over to short, but I’ve played third a little bit. I can play wherever.
What have you heard about Kane County specifically?
I heard it’s a little cold the first month, but that’s [expected]. I mean, I’ve heard it’s got great fan attendance, which is awesome. Great facilities. Everything I’ve heard about it has been pretty good, you know. It’s great that now it came back to Chicago. There’s a lot of Chicago Cubs fans in the area, so it’s kind of nice that that’s our affiliate and we’re able to be here.
Shawon (Dunston Jr.) has a dad who played in the majors, too. How much have you or do you talk with him about that?
Oh, all the time. Our dads played against each other, so they still have stories that my dad and his dad will talk about and we talk about all the time. It’s a really great tool for us. They can kind of lead us through what they’ve been through and kind of help us out whereas a lot of other guys may not know about what’s the next step. We talk about it a good bit. I mean, they’ve kind of accomplished what we want to eventually accomplish. And we’re not necessarily trying to walk in their footsteps, but we’re trying to make a name for ourselves, also.