Byline: Marty Maciaszek Daily Herald Sports Writer
Trey Johnston knows third base has been a not-so-hot corner for three decades for the Cubs.
Plenty of names and faces have come and gone but a long-term solution hasn't been found since Ron Santo's final season on the North Side in 1973.
Johnston believes he could eventually be the answer to a question that continues to plague a team hoping to win this year's National League Central division title.
Johnston, who just had his high school graduation from Schaumburg on Sunday, got started in that direction when he signed a contract with the Cubs on Monday.
The 5-foot-11, 190-pound third baseman was chosen in the 18th round of Major League Baseball's amateur draft last week and will play for their Rookie League team in Mesa, Ariz.
"My goal is to make it all the way to Chicago," Johnston said. "And I've got more goals when I get there. I'd like to tear it up at that position for as long as I can."
To do so with the Cubs would be even better for Johnston, who became a fan when he came here from Florida at age 4.
"I fell in love with the Cubs and the way they did everything and Wrigley (Field)," said Johnston, who doesn't turn 18 until July 4. "I'm a die-hard Cubs fan."
The Cubs and scout Stan Zielinski also became big fans of Johnston this spring as the strong-armed third baseman hit .418 with 5 homers and 32 RBI in the cleanup spot for the Mid-Suburban West champs.
Johnston also had an offer for a half-scholarship to the University of Michigan and had scholarship offers to two-year powers Triton College and Seminole Junior College in Orlando, Fla.
"I had options so I was in a win-win situation," Johnston said of getting money toward his college education and a nice signing bonus.
The Cubs also drafted third baseman Casey McGehee out of Fresno State in the 10th round and plan to send him to their Class A team in Boise, Idaho. But Johnston said the Cubs and Zielinski could see him eventually filling their black hole at third.
"They told me at age 25 they see me as a regular in the big leagues," Johnston said.
Johnston is the eighth Schaumburg product coached by Paul Groot to be drafted since the mid-1990s out of high school or college. …