Castro plans to be perennial All-Star

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Chicago Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro is thrilled to be back as a National League All-Star for the second straight season.

“I am much more comfortable this year because my English is much better and I can talk to everybody without help,” said the 22-year-old Dominican infielder. “Last year I was kind of lost and didn’t know where I was going. Now I have more experience at these things. I will take [teammate and fellow All-Star Bryan] LaHair with me everywhere I go.”

Castro, a career .300 hitter, is setting lofty goals for himself as his big league career evolves.

“I look at what Derek Jeter has done and it is crazy,” Castro said. “That is what I want to be like, I want to be a 13-time All-Star. That is a goal.”

In his first All-Star game, Castro set a record with two stolen bases in one inning.

“This year all my family will be here [at the All-Star Game] to see me, so I want to do something special again, Castro said. “I don’t know what it will be, but this is a special game so I want to do something different. We will see. “

Castro also is looking forward to sharing his 2012 All-Star experience with his Cubs teammate.

“How do you stay in the minor leagues with so much talent?” Castro said. “I don’t understand it, but Bryan is here and people know who he is now. I feel very happy for him.”

After struggling all season, the Cubs won nine of their last 13 going into the break and Castro gives a lot of the credit to new teammate Anthony Rizzo.

“Now I have another good hitter behind me so I will get better pitches to hit,” Castro said. “He is a good guy, a good teammate and a very good first baseman. With him in the lineup we have been a better team, you can see it.”