The spotlight is shining bright in the desert upon the Giants' top prospects early on in spring training. Marco Luciano has the look of a future star, Heliot Ramos is playing his way into a call-up as soon this summer and Joey Bart is off to a red-hot start after making swing changes. Even lower pitching prospects like Camilo Doval and Kervin Castro are opening eyes as possible closers of the near future.
Not to be forgotten is Hunter Bishop, the Giants' first-round pick in 2019.
Former Giants outfielder Pat Burrell now is a roving hitting instructor for the organization and has worked closely with Bishop since the Giants drafted the Arizona State product. Burrell played with and against some of the best sluggers in baseball over his 12-year MLB career. But he hasn't seen many hitters have the kind of natural power Bishop already has.
"Nobody hits the ball like this kid. ... When you walk out onto the field and he steps into the cage, it's a different deal," Burrell said Tuesday morning on KNBR's "Murph & Mac" show. "He's so powerful and dynamic. I was trying to think back to some of the guys who hit the ball that hard, and it's hard to come up with a handful of guys that I've seen that generate that much torque, that much speed.
"It's pretty impressive, it's really is."
Bishop, 22, is listed at 6-foot-5 and 210 pounds. He's a great athlete who could have had a college football career if he wanted to go that route after starring in both sports at Junipero Serra High School in San Mateo. While he's off to a slow start in big league camp, he showed his power with a RBI double Sunday against the Cincinnati Reds.
He also was robbed of a single later in the game on a great play by Reds prospect Jose Garcia.
This will be a big year for Bishop for many reasons. He only has played 32 games in the minor leagues between the Arizona Rookie League and Short-Season Class-A in 2019, hitting just .232 between the two levels. The outfielder also hit five home runs and had a .438 on-base percentage. Bishop was set to join the Giants during Summer Camp, and be part of the alternate site in Sacramento. But he tested positive for COVID-19 in late June and wasn't part of the Summer Camp at all. He also had a late start at the alternate site, showing up the first week of August.
The good news is Bishop had a "great" showing in the Arizona fall Instructional League.
Bishop could be the first powerful left-handed bat in the outfield the Giants have developed in a long, long time. There will be some swing-and-miss in his game, but his speed and power combination should make up for that. While the Giants likely will be cautious in where Bishop starts the minor league season, it's clear Burrell believes his power is real and is excited to see what's next for the former top draft pick.