tent/uploads/2012/12/Gustavo-Pierre0.jpg” alt=”" width=”527″ height=”431″ /> Shortstop Gustavo Pierre improved offensively in 2012 with the Lugnuts, batting .252 with 14 doubles, eight triples and five home runs in 76 games (photo credit: Whitecap Wendy)
Every season is a new opportunity for a player to get better, and without a doubt, Gustavo Pierre took the 2012 season as a time to improve and easily became one of the Blue Jays’ most improved players. Pierre, a native of La Romana, Dominican Republic signed with the Blue Jays as an undrafted free agent in 2008, “When I signed with the Blue Jays, I was very happy and proud. It was a great opportunity for me and my family.”
” At the time I had also received interest from the Texas Rangers and the Philadelphia Phillies, but I was very happy to be able to sign with the Blue Jays.”
Gustavo started his professional career in 2009 with the Gulf Coast League Blue Jays, where he batted .259, hitting 10 doubles, four triples, four home runs and 22 RBIs in 48 games. His performance was similar in 2010, where he joined the Auburn Doubledays and batted .236 with 12 doubles, three triples, three home runs and 22 RBIs.
Pierre was promoted to the Lansing Lugnuts to start the 2011 season, but offensive and defensive struggles saw Pierre forced to make the trip back to the Bluefield Blue Jays to finish the season. He batted .224 with 16 doubles, five triples, eight homeruns, and 41 RBIs between the two teams.
After spending time in extended spring training this past year, Pierre re-joined the Lansing Lugnuts in June. In 2012, the Dominican Republic native improved greatly making fewer errors on the field and showing tremendous improvement at the plate. He batted .252 with 14 doubles, eight triples, five home runs, and 28 RBIs in 76 games.
In addition to working on his plate vision, Pierre states that his focus has been working on his defense. He made far fewer errors in 2012 playing shortstop, third base, and second base (photo credit: Whitecap Wendy)
Discussing his improvements, the now 20-year-old shortstop said, “I have been working really hard on my defense, as last year my arm didn’t feel good. My arm is felt much better this [past] year and I’m feeling more comfortable throwing to first base every day and it’s showing.”
He added, “At the plate, I feel I am doing a better job of waiting for a good pitch to hit. I’m constantly working on improving my game. It is very important to me.”
Lansing Lugnuts hitting coach, Kenny Graham, who also worked with Pierre in Bluefield, added this about the infielder, “I couldn’t be more pleased where Gustavo is right now. He has shown great improvement both physically and mentally this past season and has transformed into a much better athlete.
“Pierre does a great job playing a whole game whether it’s a good game or bad game. He’s doing a fantastic job competing and playing the game the right way, and that is what is important.”
Brian Crawford covers anything related to the Toronto Blue Jays and the Lansing Lugnuts. Follow me on Twitter @CrawDaddy222