Hunter Bishop Makes Swing Adjustments
Giants farm director Kyle Haines describes outfielder Hunter Bishop as “at times, almost like a football player out there playing baseball.”
Haines’ description was a compliment. He mentioned Bishop’s “really good power-speed combination” and “the intensity he brings to the field.”
Inherent in that football player reference, though, is the notion that Bishop, who split his time at Serra High in San Mateo, Calif., between baseball and football, needs to sharpen his baseball skills.
A positive coronavirus test prevented Bishop, the Giants’ 2019 first-rounder from Arizona State, from attending the team’s 2020 summer camp. Though Bishop, 22, experienced only mild symptoms, he didn’t get cleared to make it to the alternate training site in Sacramento until August.
Once there, the 6-foot-5, 210-pound lefthanded hitter began working on his swing.
“Early in my college career, I always tinkered with stuff. I changed a lot," Bishop said. "It was just hard to stay consistent. (At the alt site) I thought I really found something that I believe could stick for a long time. And it’s not too big of an adjustment.
"It’s just more of staying on my back side a little bit and driving through the baseball instead of trying to go get the pitch.”
Bishop’s first two college seasons were solid but not special. Then in his junior year, he hit 22 home runs, stole 12 bases and put together a gaudy 1.226 OPS.
The Giants have a history with a lefthanded-hitting outfielder with a power-speed combo who went to Serra High and ASU. That man is Barry Bonds. He gave Bishop some tips in the batting cage during spring training.
"(Bonds) actually really helped me,” Bishop said. “Some of the things he was saying (were) spot on to what I need to work on as a hitter . . . If I can just take anything he says and put it into play, it’d be pretty good.”
Bishop hit .229/.438/.429 in his first pro season, split between Rookie ball and short-season Salem-Keizer. Assuming there is a fairly normal minor league season in 2021, he figures to begin it at either Low-A or High-A.
— The Giants selected righthander Dedniel Nuñez from the Mets in the major league phase of the Rule 5 draft. Nuñez, 24, owns a 4.47 career ERA in three minor league seasons, none above Class A. He's struck out 176 batters in 165 innings. Though 30 of his 37 career appearances have come as a starter, the Giants project him as a bullpen candidate.
— In the Triple-A phase of the Rule 5 draft, the Giants added outfielder Vince Fernandez from the Rockies, righthander Ronnie Williams from the Cardinals and second baseman Mitchell Tolman from the Mets. San Francisco lost infielder Jalen Miller, its third-round pick in 2015, to the Braves.