JUPITER, Fla. -- This is a big year for former first-round Draft pick Jiovanni Mier, who played in only 51 games in 2012 because of a serious injury and struggled last year at Double-A Corpus Christi, hitting .194 with five homers and 28 RBIs.
Mier, a shortstop who was taken for the No. 21 overall pick by the Astros in 2009 out of Pomona, Calif., was one of several players from Minor League camp who traveled with the Astros' big league club to face the Cardinals on Sunday.
"The most important thing is I've stayed healthy this spring and had a lot of at-bats," Mier said. "I feel it's going to benefit for me for the season."
As far as last year goes, Mier said it was a learning experience.
"I learned what kind of player I am and what kind of player I should be," Mier said. "Things didn't go the way I wanted them to go, but the past is the past and I'm just going to learn from it and continue to hit."
When asked what kind of player he should be, Mier said: "I've always played hard and gone out there and done what the game has asked me to do, not try to do too much."
Mier was off to a good start in 2012 at Class A Lancaster when he tore his right hamstring trying to stretch a double into a triple in early May. He wound up missing two months. He jokingly blamed former teammate and fellow first-rounder George Springer for the injury.
"He's always making of fun of me because I never go for a triple," Mier said. "I don't know why. There's something about triples I don't like. I was halfway towards second and George came to my mind, and I said, 'I'm going to go for three for George.' I rounded second and the next thing you know, I was laying on the ground with a tear in my hamstring."
Mier, 23, said the goal this year is rebound.
"You never want to take steps back," Mier said. "The years coming up, I know I'm getting older and I want to progress and get better, and hopefully inch my way closer to the big leagues."