San Francisco Giants: No. 10 Overall Pick
Player: Hunter Bishop
Height/Weight: 6’5”, 210 lbs
School: Arizona State University
Previously Drafted: San Diego Padres 24th round (2016)
Hunter Bishop was a two-sport prospect in high school. In fact, the San Mateo, California native originally chose football before reversing course and heading to Arizona State to contribute on the diamond.
Bishop’s tools have been touted since his high school days, but he struggled with consistency over his first two seasons at Arizona State. Entering this season, Bishop only had 10 home runs in 100 games with a middling .276 batting average.
Last summer at the Cape Cod League, Bishop once again flashed his tools (stealing 9 bases with 4 home runs) but struggled overall to a .233/.369/.350 line with a 30% strikeout rate.
However, after reworking his batting stance in the Cape Cod League late last summer, he exploded for a .356/.482/.792 line and 22 home runs this spring in Phoenix, rising into the top-10 conversation.
His profile is a scout’s dream. With a 6’5″, 210-pound frame he projects 60 to 70-grade raw power, while also showcasing 55-60 running ability.
His defensive projection is quite similar to current Giants’ prospect Heliot Ramos. He currently plays center field and some feel he can stick there long-term. But, even if he slides to a corner spot, his athleticism and average arm should make for an above-average defender.
The questions with Bishop revolve around his hit tool. He struck out in over 30 percent of his plate appearances as a sophomore and struggled to control the strike zone. He made significant strides this season though and it will come on the Giants development group to keep that on track.
Even with the questions about his hit tool, this is still a fantastic grab for the San Francisco Giants. He ranked #7 on Baseball America and MLB Pipeline‘s big board, #8 by Keith Law at ESPN, and #10 by FanGraphs.
Coming out of college there aren’t any signability questions with Bishop and there is no reason to expect Bishop to take anything less than full-slot value.
The Giants didn’t get creative as I had suggested, but they played it straight and got a really high-upside talent.
SS Bryson Stott may have been seen as a safer pick, but new Giants’ headman Farhan Zaidi has long had a love for big-time tools (even with some added risk) and Hunter Bishop had the loudest tools of any of the position players available.
Stay tuned as we’ll be back with more on Bishop and the San Francisco Giants 2nd round pick as Day 1 of the draft continues.