Jiovanni Mier Scouting Report (2010)
Heading into the 2010 season, Houston Astros shortstop prospect Jiovanni Mier was on my short list of players I simply had to see. The 21st pick in the 2009 draft, Mier posted strong power numbers in the Appalachian League leading which led to top-100 rankings and Nomar Garciaparra comparisons. By the conclusion of the four-game set, Mier had underwhelmed to the point of questioning his prospect status and how much, if any, his bat will play at upper levels.
Physical Projection: Mier looks every bit of his listed 6’2″, 175 lbs. He’s lean and well-proportioned leading me to believe future weight gain will be evenly distributed giving him a better chance of staying at shortstop long term than most prospects I see at the level. A very fluid athlete, his smooth movements, especially on the infield, are a thing of beauty. However, Mier lacks explosion and it shows in all aspects of his game.
Hitting: Jiovanni Mier features an athletic stance with a slightly open front foot and his weight shifted onto his back leg. With no stride, he does not shift his weight well leading to more thuds than cracks coming off of the bat. Limited offensively, he profiles as an 8-9 hitter due to a lack of present power as he struggled to guide balls out of the infield. With his having trouble keeping his hands inside the ball, his inability to throw the bat head caused him to be overpowered by average fastballs inside.
While mechanics can be fixed, my primary concern about Mier was a perceived lack of strength which severely limits his future power projection. I would struggle to call him a future double-digit home run hitter as it stands now and wonder how much an additional 20-25 pounds of muscle would make a difference. Bat speed and wrist snap can improve some with added strength, but the hit tool has a very long way to go for me to become a buyer.
Defense: Relatively untested, Mier had little problem making the routine plays and chipped in a couple of extremely smooth feeds on double play opportunities. While I did not see Mier in a situation where he had to really flash his arm strength, it would be difficult for me to project it as above average. Seeing his lateral movement tested would have been helpful as many average runners at shortstop struggle to cover the ground needed to stay at the position long term.
Speed: Having clocked Mier at 4.3 seconds from home to first, his speed is a solid 50 on the 20-80 scale. He will likely settle in as a slightly below average runner at the position with little stolen base ability. However, Mier is a smart player who should be able to maximize whatever speed he does have on the basepaths.
Jiovanni Mier ranks as one of the more disappointing prospects I’ve seen at this point in terms of name value versus tools and production. I expected to see the next “Nomar”, but Mier fell far short of those expectations in every way except for the physical resemblance. Going forward, Mier will need to revamp his hitting mechanics to incorporate more lower body and keep his hands inside the ball. Currently, he projects as a weak hitter with some infield chops, but line drive gap power is not out of the question if everything breaks correctly with his development.
23 Jan 2014 / Mike Newman /
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