Assistant GM Bobby Heck answered some of JJO's questions last night about 1st round pick Jiovanni Mier. Some excerpts:
"He wants to play. He made that well known. He was actually here at our workout this past Friday, but there's a long body of work on him. He's made no bones about that he wants to go out and play."
On his character:
"As you guys know we covet makeup. This is a very good family environment he's from. We know the family very well. Our area scout Doug Deutsch has developed a very good relationship with his family. His brother is a professional baseball player as well. This is a baseball family and very supportive. They told us they'd like him to land him prior to the draft."
On what prospects may think of the Astros' organization:
"That makes us attractive to kids. When kids say they want to come to you that has a meaning to us, but you're not going to move talent around. We still have to take talent. But once the kids are in the system they all determine their track to the big leagues here. But it is an easier sell when you say hey, there's not a lot blocking you. There's opportunity here. The kids recognize it. They read Baseball America and they see kids moving and they see kids given opportunities here."
"(We'll start negotiating) Probably tomorrow. The sooner we get him out the better. He's made no bones about he wants to be here when minicamps start. We'll work through that, but I don't see any hang-ups on getting him signed."
When might we see him in an Astros uniform?
"He determines that. As we said yesterday we have players that have a developmental lane. There's some that have a year by year track and there are some that get into the fast lane and determine their own pace. Once he gets out he gets used to professional baseball and the daily life of that then. Ricky Bennett and Al Pedrique will put him in which lane he needs to be at that point in time."