How talk with Barry Bonds helped Giants draft pick Hunter Bishop

How talk with Barry Bonds helped Giants draft pick Hunter Bishop

Despite all the excitement caused by the Giants' blistering hot streak, it's the future that should get fans giddy more than the present.

Joey Bart, Heliot Ramos and Marco Luciano all have shown themselves to be worthy of their top-three ranking in the Giants' system, but the newest kid on the block has arrived and has not disappointed.

Hunter Bishop, who the Giants selected with the No. 10 pick in this year's MLB draft, was promoted to Single-A Salem-Keizer on Tuesday and made his debut for the Volcanoes on Wednesday night.

In his second at-bat for the Volcanoes, Bishop blasted a home run over the right-field wall and onto Interstate 5.


Bishop attended Junipero Serra High School and went to college at Arizona State, the same alma maters as Giants legend Barry Bonds. The comparisons to Bonds started the moment the Giants selected Bishop, and the hope is that one day he will be mashing dingers into McCovey Cove the same way Bonds did.

That admittedly is a ton of pressure for anyone to live up to, but Bishop has high hopes for his own career.

"Obviously, the baseball speaks for itself -- he was the best to ever do it," Bishop told MiLB's Katie Woo of Bonds. "I'm not comparing myself to the best, but I'm hoping one day I can be up there with him."

Bishop, however, hasn't looked nervous early on in his professional career. He's slashed .292/.500/.667 with five extra-base hits, four RBI, two stolen bases and six runs scored in six games between the Arizona Rookie League and Salem-Keizer. Perhaps his calmness partly can be attributed to a conversation he had with Bonds. 

"[Barry] was one of my favorite players growing up," Bishop told Woo. "I tried to pick his brain about as much as I possibly could. Just listening to him and his stories, how he's dealt with certain situations, it was really cool.

"Everything stuck out to me, but more than anything was his approach to the game and how his mentality was so calm. I like to say 'slow the game down' and he's the epitome of that."

As for his Volcanoes debut, Bishop also singled and came around to score on a base hit by second-round pick Logan Wyatt in Salem-Keizer's 7-2 win over Boise.

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Bishop wasn't expecting to go yard in his first game, but he'll obviously take it.

"I wasn't expecting to hit a home run," Bishop said with a laugh. "I was expecting to go out there and hit something hard. I'm not surprised, but I'm definitely happy it was a home run."

It's early in all of their professional careers, but Bart, Ramos, Luciano and now Bishop are giving Giants fans a ton of hope for the future of the organization.

Johnny Cueto dazzles again for Giants, stymies Marlins despite limits

Johnny Cueto dazzles again for Giants, stymies Marlins despite limits

SAN FRANCISCO -- If you're at all surprised by Johnny Cueto's first two starts back from Tommy John surgery, you probably shouldn't be. 

After all, this is a pitcher who had a 0.84 ERA through the end of April last season when he felt constant pain in his elbow and knew that surgery could be in his near future. Cueto found a way to fool hitters back then, and the Giants were always optimistic that he would find his form once he returned. Even by that standard, though, the first two starts have been impressive. 

Cueto threw five more shutout innings Sunday, giving him 10 scoreless frames in his return. He has allowed just four hits, walked three and struck out six. He would have picked up a second win Sunday, but the bullpen temporarily coughed up the lead. The Giants would go on to beat the Marlins 2-1 when Mike Yastrzemski dashed home on a wild pitch in the eighth. 

"I don't know if anybody expected him to get off to a start like this, but you look at how he's throwing the ball and it's Johnny before his surgery," manager Bruce Bochy said. "It's four pitches with command. He commands the ball, cuts it, mixes up his delivery -- and that works."

The Giants needed every scoreless inning, because right now they're out there with a lineup that's providing absolutely no punch. Cueto did his best to make an early Mauricio Dubon homer hold up, and he showed a sense of the moment as his day was coming to a close. 

Cueto had a long fourth inning and was 10 pitches from his predetermined count when he went out for the fifth. The bullpen was humming, but Cueto got through the inning on just six pitches. Then he popped into the dugout and asked Bochy for the sixth. 

"It was like Johnny knew it," Bochy said. "He got some quick outs."

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Bochy joked that he would let Cueto go 120 pitches if possible, but the restraints are still on and will be for the rest of this season. Cueto could get to 80-85 pitches in his next start and said he hopes to be cleared for 100 in his season finale. With the way he's throwing right now, that might be enough to take a shot at a shutout. 

Giants vs. Marlins lineups: Mike Yastrzemski's first start in center field


Giants vs. Marlins lineups: Mike Yastrzemski's first start in center field

Before embarking on their final road trip of the 2019 season, the Giants will host the Miami Marlins in a matinee to close out a three-game series at Oracle Park.

Getting the start for San Francisco is Johnny Cueto, who wowed the crowd at China Basin in his season debut last week, allowing only one hit in five innings with four strikeouts in a Giants win over the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Cueto is 4-2 in 10 career starts against Miami but owns a 5.09 ERA in those outings.

Opposite the Giants ace will be 24-year-old Elieser Hernandez. The right-hander has a 3-5 record in 14 starts this season, with a 5.24 ERA. 

Coverage begins at noon PT with Giants Pregame Live on NBC Sports Bay Area and streaming live in the MyTeams app.

[RELATED: MadBum not thinking about possible final days with Giants]

Here are the lineups for Marlins-Giants:

Miami Marlins (52-96)
SS Miguel Rojas
2B Isan Diaz
3B Starlin Castro
1B Neil Walker
C Jorge Alfaro
RF Lewis Brinson
CF Magneuris Sierra
LF Jon Berti
RHP Elieser Hernandez (3-5, 5.24 ERA)
San Francisco Giants (71-78)
CF Mike Yastrzemski
1B Brandon Belt
3B Evan Longoria
LF Stephen Vogt
SS Brandon Crawford
RF Mike Gerber
LF Joey Rickard
2B Mauricio Dubon
RHP Johnny Cueto (1-0, 0.00 ERA)