The Astros 2009 first round selection Jiovanni Mier finished this year with a .239/.345/.344 slash line in 505 plate appearances. While those numbers may not be eye popping they are an improvement over his 2010 season. Throw in that he made it to Lancaster at the age of 20 and there are some encouraging signs for the young Astros shortstop prospect.
Mier was kind enough to take some of his free time to answer some questions for us, in regards to last season, this offseason and next season.
TCB: How are you enjoying your offseason and what are some of the things you're doing with your free time?
Jiovanni Mier: I'm enjoying my offseason a lot, it's filled with hanging with my family and friends and watching a lot of football when it's on. I started working out again this week along with my diet so I'll do that in the morning and rest of my days are pretty much open.
TCB: What are your goals for the 2012 season and what directions have the Astros given, if any?
Mier: Some of my goals for 2012 are pretty much the same as they've been the last few years. Go into the season ready to work and get better and put myself in the best possible position to move up in the organization. They haven't really given me any direction except to come to spring training ready to compete and work hard and open some eyes.
TCB: How do you feel your 2011 season went and where do you think you improved your game?
Mier: Despite the low numbers I actually was very pleased with the season I had. I felt I put a lot of good at bats together and hit a lot of hard hit balls but just didn't get the result I wanted. The important thing for me was I learned a lot about myself and my game. I really improved on my defense and that was the main focus for me this year. I made it a point to myself this year that I wanted to become a sure handed shortstop and I felt I made big steps towards that.
TCB: What is the most memorable moment of your professional baseball career?
Mier: I would have to say hitting a walk off homerun on my birthday my rookie year.
TCB: What's the one thing you know now that you wished you had known when you started your professional baseball career?
Mier: It would be how patient I have to be in this game and that success doesn't happen over night.
TCB: How is playing in Lancaster different from playing in Lexington?
Mier: Besides the obvious field conditions and the hitters league that it's known for, I would have to say the pitchers were a little more polished. They were able to throw almost all their pitches for strikes.
TCB: Out of all the second basemen you've played with in the organization, who are you most impressed with?
Mier: My first answer would be Altuve. I had the pleasure to play with him for 2 years and to see the things he would do every night was very impressive. Since he's now in the league the other second baseman would be Lil Bop (Delino DeShields). To see the 2nd baseman he was in instructs, then spring training and then a year later in instructs has been unbelievable. For being a CF then be converted and play the way he did was very impressive to me. He went from night to day in almost 7-8 months.
TCB: How aware are you of the things going on within the Astros organization and how does this affect or not affect you? I'm specifically referring tot he sale of the Astros.
Mier: I'm pretty aware of it actually. Getting a new owner no matter what the profession is, always a big deal. I mainly keep up with it because of all the bloggers who tweet about it and stuff haha. But I honestly don't know how it will affect me. I've never been in a position like this to refer back to, so I'm curious to see how things will turn out.
TCB: Thanksgiving or Christmas and why?
Mier: This one is tough but I will have to say Christmas. It's by far my favorite time of the year. Something about having all my family together and going to the mall for no reason is something I love to do. It's also fun because I have little nieces and nephews now so being able to spend that time with them is something I cherish.
TCB: Thank you for you time and we hope you enjoy the rest of your offseason.