6. OF Hunter Bishop
Acquired: 2019 draft (1st round)
Future Value: 45+
The San Francisco Giants had the No. 10 overall pick in the 2019 draft. Picking at the back-end of the top ten gave the organization a number of intriguing options, but obviously kept them from landing the best few prospects in the class.
They ended up selecting Arizona State outfielder Hunter Bishop, a player who had been in the conversation to be a top-five selection just a couple of weeks prior to the draft.
Bishop’s combination of power and athleticism first had him on scouts’ radars in high school. He starred as a two-sport athlete and originally committed to play safety at the University of Washington on a football scholarship before changing directions and enrolling at ASU.
A San Mateo, California native, Bishop’s powerful 6’5”, 210-pound frame gives him 70-grade raw power and he has flashed 60-grade speed.
In his first two seasons at Arizona State, Bishop’s incredible tools did not result in productivity. 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, he continued only flashing his tools. Against the best collegiate prospects, he stole nine bases and hit four home runs but finished with a .233/.369/.350 line while striking out over 30 percent of the time.
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 that would prove valuable.
As a junior, he exploded out of the gate and finished the season with a monstrous .347/.473/.765 line and 22 home runs.
He played center field in college and his speed gives him the potential to stick there, but he tends to struggle with reads and has a below-average arm. As a result, he likely profiles as a future left fielder with great range.
Bishop’s hit tool will ultimately determine whether the pick is a bust or a steal. Before his breakout season, Bishop routinely struck out in over 30 percent of his plate appearances. He trimmed his strikeout rate considerably this spring and during his brief pro debut, but concerns remain.
While second-round pick Logan Wyatt earned a late-season promotion to Single-A Augusta, Bishop took more time to get adjusted to professional hitting and finished the season on the injured list. His power potential didn’t play much in his debut, but his injury and extended layoff between the end of his season at Arizona State and his pro debut are understandable excuses.
Most importantly, Bishop walked in over 25 percent of his plate appearances while striking out just one more time than he walked. The San Francisco 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.
His brother, Braden Bishop, is an outfielder with the Seattle Mariners organization. Together, Hunter and Braden started the 4MOM Foundation to raise funds to help fight Alzheimer’s after witnessing their mother suffer through the disease. Their mother, Suzy Bishop, passed away on October 5 and the entire Around the Foghorn team offers our condolences to the Bishop family and would like to encourage our readers to visit 4MOM.org to make a donation.