Tigers Prospect Profile #42: Rawley Bishop

Rawley Bishop built off a strong debut season in 2009 with an excellent 2010 campaign, giving the organization strong productivity between two levels. Can the Tigers expect similar from Bishop in future years?

Rawley Bishop
Position: First Baseman
Height: 6-3
Weight: 205
Born: 11/19/1985
Bats: Right
Throws: Right

Background
The Tigers 19th round pick in 2009, Bishop had a very solid debut in the New York-Penn League. His .282/.378/.439 line earned him recognition by the organization as the Oneonta Player of the Year.

After a strong spring where he continued to hit, play good defense, and demonstrate makeup and leadership ability that surprised some observers, Bishop was vaulted all the way to High-A Lakeland to start the 2010 campaign. He wasted no time getting into position for a promotion, ripping the ball to the tune of a .301/.385/.462 line. In just 66 games he knocked 18 doubles and six home runs, while swiping seven bases without being caught.

After half a season in the Florida State League, Bishop was pushed up to Erie for the second half. Though his average dropped to .252 in Double-A, he still maintained walk and strikeout rates, while slugging better in a slightly less oppressive hitter's environment. In 67 games at the level, Bishop posted eleven doubles and nine home runs.

Scouting Report
Bishop's best tools are his hitting ability and defense. He has a fringe-average hit tool and should be able to hit in the .265-.275 range over the course of an entire season. He makes easy contact and rarely chases pitches out of the strike zone. He does have a tendency to swing through pitches at times, and he is prone to getting out on his front foot and whiffing on slower breaking balls and change-ups.

Though he has strength and uses his lower half pretty well, Bishop has only below-average MLB power. His swing generates more line drives from gap-to-gap than it does over the fence power.

Bishop is a quality defender at first base, and actually has the hands and arm strength to handle third base. He lacks the range for the hot corner, and is far better suited for the other infield corner. He reads ground balls well and knows what balls he should attack in his zone and what balls he should let other players handle.

Despite being a below-average runner, Bishop reads pitchers very well and can be a sneaky base runner. He has an ability to swipe a base at times, though he shouldn't be expected to steal more than 5-6 bases a year. He knows when to be aggressive on the bases and is generally a solid base runner.

Bishop is a calm, cool individual that has good makeup and some quiet leadership abilities. He remains poised in the field and at the plate.

Performance

Level

Team

AB

AVG

2B

HR

RBI

SO

BB

OBP%

SLG%

A+

Lakeland

236

.301

18

6

42

65

26

.385

.462

AA

Erie

246

.252

11

9

45

65

28

.337

.407


Health Record
Bishop isn't a great athlete, but he works hard and keeps himself in good shape. He hasn't had any injuries in his brief professional career.

The Future
Bishop is all but locked into an everyday job as the first baseman in Erie for the 2011 season. Though he has a solid base of skills, there is nothing in his game that gives him the projection as an everyday guy at first base. He can hit some, but not enough to be a significant prospect while playing that far down the defensive spectrum.

If Bishop can improve his lateral quickness and remain a passable third base defender in a pinch, and maybe add the outfield corners to his resume, he could have a slim shot as a bench corner guy. Outside of that, the 25-year old Bishop is probably destined to be a solid minor league hitter at the upper levels.

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