Where Hunter Bishop should rank among Giants' top prospects right away


Hunter Bishop took the first steps towards his childhood dream when he signed with the Giants last Saturday. 

Bishop, a Palo Alto native who attended Serra High School, soon will join top prospects like Marco Luciano in the Arizona Rookie League. As the former Arizona State star heads back to the desert, where should the power-hitting outfielder rank next to the team's top prospects like Luciano and others? 

Before he takes his first swing as a professional, Bishop will become one of San Francisco's top prospects. Just how high is the real question. 

Leaping over the Giants' top three prospects -- Joey Bart, Heliot Ramos and Luciano -- is out of the question. Bart and Ramos recently were ranked as two of the top 60 prospects in baseball by MLB Pipeline. And Luciano, only 17 years old, has been the most impressive of the trio this year. 

Now that he has professional at-bats under his belt, Luciano could be ranked as the team's top prospect before we know it.

After the three bats, four arms -- Logan Webb, Sean Hjelle, Jake Wong and Gregory Santos -- make up the Giants' Nos. 4 through 7 prospects. There's an argument to place Bishop ahead of all four of them. 

Bishop, 6-foot-5 and 210 pounds, should be able to climb up the farm system fairly quick. After making changes to his stance and approach at the plate last summer in the Cape Cod League, Bishop went from batting .250 with five homers as a sophomore to .342 and 22 long balls as a junior. The big left-handed hitter still strikes out plenty, but the power appears to be real. 

Even if he doesn't hit near an average of say, .342, Bishop still should have the ability to launch home runs. Should his speed-power combination propel him to be ranked as the Giants' No. 4 prospect? It might not be that simple. 

While Wong and Santos have been impressive, it's Webb and Hjelle who Bishop could have a hard time jumping off the bat.

Before Webb was suspended 80 games for a positive PED test, he was one of the fastest risers in the team's farm system. The 22-year-old had a 2.00 ERA through five starts for Double-A Richmond this season. Meanwhile, Hjelle, the 6-foot-11 second-rounder, has been phenomenal in his first full season in the minors. Between Low-A Augusta and High-A San Jose, he has a 2.28 ERA and 1.17 WHIP over 17 starts. 

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It won't be easy to top those two pitchers, who both could factor into the Giants' starting rotation by 2021.

On the high end, Bishop could be slotted in as the Giants' new No. 4 prospect. Conservatively, he could land at No. 6. Either way, the Giants have a power bat in the farm system who soon could make their dream come true in San Francisco.

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