Homer keys Mier's productive night

Astros prospect taking lessons from 2010 into new season

Jiovanni Mier is 5-for-9 with three runs scored in his last three games. (Tony Farlow/MiLB.com)

By Andrew Pentis / Special to MLB.com | April 16, 2011 7:34 PM ET

Jiovanni Mier is getting a do-over, and he wouldn't have it any other way.

Embarking on his second season at Class A Lexington, the Astros prospect broke out on Saturday. He homered, doubled and scored three runs in the Legends' 13-7 victory over the Asheville Tourists.

Was his first home run of 2011 a no-doubter?

"Compared to the other [three] home runs we hit, it just sneaked over the fence," Mier said after connecting on an inside fastball in the sixth inning. "We had some other ones that were pretty crushed."

The word crushed, albeit with an entirely different connotation, could apply to Mier's tumultuous 2010 in Lexington, his first full year of professional ball after the Astros selected him 21st overall in the 2009 Draft.

Mier batted .218 or lower in four of the six-month season and lost more than 200 points on the .864 OPS he posted in the Rookie-level Appalachian League in 2009. Learning to deal with failure -- and success -- wasn't a strong suit, he said.

Now, using phrases like "growing as a player" and "taking one day at a time," he is focusing on simple things like "getting good wood" on the ball and "repeating my pregame routine." He's also glad to have consistency in the dugout, as he's playing a third straight season for manager Rodney Linares.

It is clear the significant change he made during the offseason was almost entirely mental.

"Whether I go 0-for-4 or 4-for-4, tomorrow is a whole new day. Just try to take it like that," Mier said. "The past is the past.

"I'm just trying to learn from what I did last year and take it into this year, so, whether it's having a bad at-bat or making a nice play in the field, you need to move on. Just keep moving on," Mier said. "It was a big, humbling learning experience for me. I'm glad to be back."

Lexington must be, too. Combined with 2010 first-round pick Delino DeShields Jr., the Legends have quite the 1-2 punch atop their lineup, which has averaged 9.8 runs in its five wins.

"It's just big for the team," Mier said of his new teammate, who went 2-for-4 on Saturday. "It feeds off everyone, especially with Delino, when he's on his game."

Andrew Pentis is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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