Givanni Damico | May 22nd, 2019
Hunter Bishop, OF (Arizona State)
Weight: 210 LBs
2018 Stats: .250/.352/.407, 5 HR, 26 RBI, 50 SO, 18 BB
2019 Stats (as of May 21, 2019): .356/.482/.792, 22 HR, 61 RBI, 56 SO, 42 BB
Hit: 50 Power: 60 Run: 60 Arm: 50 Field: 50 Overall: 55
Hunter Bishop was born on June 25, 1998. His brother, Braden, was selected by the Seattle Mariners in the third round of the 2015 MLB Draft. Bishop attended Serra High School in California where he played both football and baseball. He was an Under Armour Baseball All-American in 2015 and the WCAL (Western California) Baseball Player of the Year in 2016. He finished his freshman season at Arizona State with the second highest batting average on the team at .301. He had five home runs as well. Despite a great freshman season, Bishop hit a bit of a sophomore slump in 2018, hitting just .250 with five home runs again. His strikeout to walk rate left a lot to be desired as well. Who cares though? In 2019 he has turned it on and is playing out of this world. He is sporting a .356 batting average with 22 home runs and 61 RBIs while also significantly improving his strikeout to walk rate. Bishop has had five multi-home run games in 2019. The crazy thing is that just a couple weeks ago, Bishop was hitting near .400, but a minor slump has dropped him down to .356. The guy can hit the ball and has a huge power upside.
Bishop has insane raw power. ESPN’s Keith Law and Baseball America both stated that Bishop has double-plus raw power, which means his power grade is a 70. His strikeout rate has dropped significantly and he has a great ability to cover the whole plate. He drew 33 walks in his first two seasons at Arizona State, but he already has 42 in his junior year. As you can see, Bishop also has a plus running grade. He hasn’t stolen many bases at Arizona State, but scouts gave him plus grades for his speed around the bases. Because of this speed, he may be able to remain a center fielder once he reaches the MLB, but his size suggests that a corner spot would be more fitting.
Bishop struggles making contact sometimes, but he has cut down his swing and miss rate in 2019. He has still struck out 56 times. Many are unsure at how high Bishop’s ceiling will be because of his contact issues, stating that he may never hit for contact. Something that worries me personally is how much he has cooled off lately. As I said, his average was well over .400 at one point, but the power well seems to be dry and he is striking out more. He didn’t have extreme success before this year which makes me question his consistency. His defensive ability could hurt his value a bit because of the doubt that scouts have about him remaining as a center fielder.
My main worry about Hunter Bishop is that he will be a bust at the plate. He has struck out 36 times in his last 24 games. Granted, this was against tougher competition in conference play, but he will face great pitching if he makes it to the big leagues and he has to know how to handle it. This is where I put my two cents in. I wouldn’t spend a top-10 draft pick on Bishop. He’ll get drafted there, and hopefully, he prospers, but I’m not sure if I trust his consistency at the plate.
Draft Prediction: Round 1, Pick 5 to the Detroit Tigers
A lot of the teams in the top-10 have good outfield depth in their farm system already, but the Tigers don’t. They have Daz Cameron and Parker Meadows in their top-15 prospects right now and not much depth in the major leagues. This would be a good fit for Bishop, although he’ll have to deal with playing in a pitcher’s ballpark.
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Questions and comments?
Main Image Credit: https://thesundevils.com/roster.aspx?rp_id=8373