Hunter Bishop, one of the top outfield prospects in the draft class, could be in play for the Padres with the sixth pick in the upcoming MLB Draft.
The San Diego Padres, home to one of the deepest and most talented farm system in all of baseball, are about to get an overall boost to their ranks.
With the sixth overall pick in the upcoming MLB Draft, an organization that is approaching contention will obtain a potential impact player.
This six or seven-piece series will take an in-depth look at who the Padres could select with the sixth overall pick in the draft. These are not predictions, but instead just breaking down some of the options that may be available when San Diego is on the clock.
Arizona State outfielder Hunter Bishop is one of several players that are on the team’s draft radar. San Diego is all too familiar with Bishop, as the organization selected him in the 24th round after he graduated from high school. Rather than sign with the team, Bishop went the college route and honored his commitment to Arizona State University.
Bishop arrived in Arizona and had an impact on the field almost immediately. He started in 42 games as a freshman and made 39 starts in his sophomore season. While his numbers weren’t overly impressive, the Arizona State coaching staff saw enough to make him a regular in the starting lineup.
Like many players that will hear their name called in under a week, Bishop played in the lucrative Cape Cod league this past summer. The transformation he made there is the reason why his name will be floated around as a top-ten pick. While playing against some of the best players in the country, Bishop made adjustments to both his stance and approach at the plate leading to the massive amounts of success he’s having right now.
In 2018, Bishop posted a .250/.352/.407 line with only five home runs and 26 RBI. This year, however, the 20-year-old is slashing .347/.473/.765 with 22 home runs and 61 RBI. While he’s struck out more this year, he’s also walked 25 more times than last season and is getting on base at a much higher clip.
Scouts spoke about the raw power that he had coming out of high school, but questions arose about his ability to tap into it consistently. After all his adjustments, Bishop appears to have found out how to do so. His power comes from his pull side, but Bishop can consistently pepper the ball to all fields while still making hard contact. He’s a prototypical power hitter, which means the strikeouts will be a concern, but his increased walk rate shows that Bishop’s approach at the plate improved tremendously.
Athletically speaking, Bishop was a standout wide receiver in high school while also earning All-American honors on the baseball field. His 6-foot-5, 210-pound frame suggests that Bishop might have more power to display that he is right now, which almost certainly means he could one day be an elite power hitter. He runs well for someone his size, and while he does not have an electric arm, it’s good enough to play at the next level. This is his first full-season playing center field, and scouts believe his athleticism paired with above-average defensive instincts could pave the way for him to stay there long term.
Just like J.J. Bleday, the left-handed power bat of Hunter Bishop is almost certainly in play for the Padres’ with their first-round pick. His path to the big leagues might be longer than Bleday’s, but the potential for Bishop to be an elite power hitter once he matures cannot be ignored. Some might say that San Diego has an outfield logjam, but now might be the time for the team to consider finding their center fielder of the future. Manuel Margot has disappointed offensively, despite being a gold-glove caliber defensive outfielder, and Wil Myers looks much more comfortable in a corner role than he does in center field. Bishop might be that guy, and while he might take a few years to reach the big leagues, there is no doubt that he has tremendous upside.