4. OF Hunter Bishop
Current Level: Unassigned
Acquired: Draft (2019, 1st Round)
Future-Value Grade: 45+
A two-sport prospect in high school, Bishop originally chose to play football at the University of Washington before changing course and heading to Arizona State to contribute on the diamond.
The San Mateo native’s profile is a scout’s dream, and very similar to that of fellow top prospect Heliot Ramos. With a 6’5″, 210-pound frame his swing projects easy 60 to possibly 70-grade raw power, while still maintaining 55-60 running ability.
His combination of power and athleticism had him on scouts’ radars in high school, but he struggled with consistency through his first two seasons at Arizona State. Entering his junior year, Bishop had just 10 home runs in 100 career games with a middling .276 batting average.
Last summer at the Cape Cod League, Bishop continued flashing his ability. He stole nine bases and hit four home runs but finished with a .233/.369/.350 line while striking out in over 30 percent of his plate appearances.
His potential combination of plus-speed and plus-power alone would have still gotten him chosen sometime on Day 2 of the draft. However, late in the summer at the Cape, Bishop reworked his stance and made some adjustments to his approach.
Those changes worked wonders. He exploded out of the gate and finished his junior season with a monstrous .347/.473/.765 line and 22 home runs.
He played center field at Arizona State and his speed could allow him to stick there, but he tends to struggle with reads and has a below-average arm. He likely profiles as a future left fielder.
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 trimmed his strikeout rate considerably this spring, but concerns remain.
In Bishop’s pro-debut, the strikeouts and walks will be important to watch. The Giants are betting that the steps he took in his junior season were the start of a trend, not an aberration. Next season, we’ll get to see for sure when he likely begins the year at High-A San Jose.
Along with his brother, Seattle Mariners outfielder Braden Bishop, Hunter started the 4MOM Foundation to raise funds to help fight Alzheimer’s after their mother’s enduring bout with the disease.
If you’d like to support their foundation, go to 4mom.org.