Tigers Prospect Profile #47: Rawley Bishop

Could Bishop push for a spot in the big leagues?

Rawley Bishop has been around for awhile now, and doesn't carry the same name recognition or high potential that a number of others in the system do. So what lands Bishop in the back of the top 50?

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

Acquired: 2009 Draft, 19th Round
Ranking History: #74 (2009), #42 (2010), #74 (2011)

Background
Selected in the 19th round in 2009, Bishop hit .282/.378/.439 in 71 games for shot-season Oneonta. The Tigers skipped the then 24-year old Bishop all the way to High-A Lakeland in 2010 where he raked to the tune of a .301/.385/.462 line in 66 games. The club promoted him to Double-A Erie at mid-season and he hit .252 with 20 extra-base hits in 67 games.

With a return to Erie in 2011, Bishop improved to a .266 average with 28 doubles and 10 home runs with 16 stolen bases in 20 attempts. He again returned to Erie in 2012, but slumped to a modest .246 average with 21 doubles and eight home runs. He played six games at Triple-A Toledo last year, posting a .143 average.

Scouting Report
With more third base on the docket in 2012, Bishop trimmed his body heading into the season, showing improved athleticism and flexibility, while maintaining his good strength. He has an MLB-caliber body.

Bishop has solid hitting ability, including a decent knowledge of the strike zone. He can recognize the spin on breaking pitches but struggles to restrain himself and will chase them out of the zone at times. His true nemesis is the change-up, often getting him out on his front foot and leading to bad swings and misses.

Bishop has strength and some juice in his bat, with the ability to drive the ball to the gaps and fringe-average home-run power. Despite his physical presence and natural strength, he doesn't project to add much more power. He is a below-average runner.

Bishop was a quality defender at first base and could still play the position some down the line. His move to third base in 2012 was a move back to his college position, and while he showed pretty natural actions at the position, there were struggles. His range was limited in spite of physical improvements and there were times where his above-average arm was masked by a case of the "yips."

Bishop lacks the projection of an everyday big-league player. His move back to third base helps his versatility and opens a small window for a big league chance. Additional versatility could be gained if he can demonstrate further ability on the outfield corners. Bishop could be a solid bat off the bench with four-corner defensive abilities.

Performance

Level

Team

AB

AVG

2B

HR

RBI

SO

BB

OBP%

SLG%

AA

Erie

410

.246

21

8

51

100

43

.323

.366

AAA

Toledo

21

.143

1

0

1

8

3

.240

.190


Health Record
There have been no significant injuries in Bishop's career.

Projection
Bishop has to perform in 2013 or his very small window for a big-league opportunity could vanish. He is blocked on both infield corners in Detroit and may be best served to get his chance in another organization. There's nothing flashy in Bishop's game, but his versatility and solid offensive profile give him a slim chance.

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