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Houston Astros select High School SS Jiovanni Mier with First Round Pick

Alright, there is already a lot to digest at this point. I'm going to try and synthesize as much information as I can without being superfluous in what I write. Let's take a look at the Astros first round selection, Jiovanni Mier.

To begin, I'd like to point out that Mr. Mier is a high school player, and is most likely years away from making a mark on the big league club. Before any of us get too up, or too down about the Astros selection, we should repeat this to ourselves at least four times.  Let our Assistant GM and Scouting guru Bobby Heck take care of hyperbole:

We thought he was the best baseball player in this Draft, scouting director Bobby Heck said.

See? Heck took care of all the hyperbole, one way or another. I was listening to an interview with Heck while I was on the way home from a family dinner, and Heck basically told a reporter that his track record of selecting hitters speaks for itself. For more on this, take a gander at AstroAndy's six part series on the Astros draft. This was a draft light in the way of middle infield/third base talent, which is unfortunate for the Astros, since that is our biggest weakspot. Heck loved this guy, and he got his man. Take it as a good sign that a man is this confident in his selection. Of course, he's not going to come out and say he's unsure of his pick, but I trust Mr. Heck's judgment a (sorry for the upcoming pun) heck-uva lot more than either Wade, Tal Smith or anyone else in our front office.

It's not just Heck who likes Mr. Mier, either. Here is an interview that Mier did with a scouting organization, Baseball Beginnings. If you're one who buys into the age old credo that great teams are built up the middle, then you can sleep easy tonight- Mier is a player who is already a great defensive shortstop. Here's a video of him at the plate during an exhibition contest at Dodger Stadium



Unlike many amateur shortstops, he will remain at that position as a professional, so Chris Burke comparisons need not apply. Every scouting report I could find likes this guy. He is from a good family, one that has produced another professional player, Mier's brother (whose name I could not find). Kevin Goldenstein over at Baseball Prospectus had this to say about Mier, whom he ranked as the #30 ranked player in this draft:

He has more defensive potential up the middle than any player in the draft, with pro-level instincts, hands and actions...he's a good runner, and has a quick, line-drive bat.

The major knock on him, as far as I can tell, is that he may never develop the sort of power that would make him a truly elite player. Regardless, the good far outweighs the bad with this selection. I don't consider myself anything near an expert or even an above-average judge of baseball talent, but at 6'3" and 185 lbs, he has the sort of projectable body that leads me to believe/hope that he could develop a decent power bat for a SS. 10-15 homers would be stellar. Our farm system has nobody who a scout or anyone else could peg as someone who projects to be a major league shortstop.

I'm going to stick around as long as possible (Read: until I fall asleep). If you haven't already seen this, it's a "draft-tracker" which keeps up with all the selections as they come in.