Prospects on Deck: SS Lucius Fox – Rays
Not thought of as one of the traditional baseball hotbeds, The Bahamas has been on a role with producing talented players who are making a name for themselves in the professional ranks.The game has seen, and is still seeing, a lot of highly touted ball players coming out of the island nation, many of which have established themselves as top international and organizational prospects while showing promising major league potential. One of the most recent examples, and the international prospect that would end up receiving the highest signing bonus in 2015, was Lucius Fox out of Nassau, Bahamas who originally signed with the San Francisco Giants.
Fox was born in Nassau, but played high school ball in the United States at American Heritage in Delray Beach, Florida. A switch hitting shortstop with solid tools and a good build, Fox was high on everyone’s first year player draft boards until he was deemed eligible to become an international free agent, skipping the draft. After signing him, the Giants put Fox with their Single-A team, the Augusta Greenjackets, to start the 2016 season.
On paper, Fox saw his fair share of struggles in his first year of professional ball. He slashed .207/.305/.277 in the South Atlantic League where he was 3 and a half years younger than the average player in the league, but continued to show the promising tools, and the superb athleticism that had so many people in the baseball world excited about him. Clearly the Tampa Bay Rays were one of those groups impressed with what they had seen from Fox as they made sure he was included in last August’s trade that sent Matt Moore to San Francisco in exchange for Fox, Matt Duffy, and Michael Santos.
Fox is getting his second chance at Single-A in 2017, this time in the Midwest League with the Bowling Green Hot Rods.While he is still more than two years younger than the average player in the MWL, Fox has proven that he just needed a little bit of time to adjust from high school pitching to pro pitching. So far the switch hitter is slashing .273/.357/.348 (.705) with 2 HR, 23 RBI, and 24 SB
While the bat is certainly developing nicely for Fox, his defense has improved as well as he has significantly reduced his errors which has raised his fielding percentage nearly 50 points over last season. He has great range at the shortstop position and has an impressive arm to go with it. Even before he was signed in 2015, scouts believed Fox had the ability to stay at short all the way to the show, and after a few adjustments, he seems to be proving them right.
Fox’s most dangerous tool is his highly rated speed which translates well both offensively and defensively. He has the ability to wreak havoc on the base paths not only by stealing bases, but by his quick ability to take the extra base on balls in play. That quickness translates in the field as well as Fox has a good first step that will continue to improve his range on defense.
Fox is well on his way to moving up the ladder within the Rays organization. The young man is extremely talented and it is easy to see the potential in his game. Factor in that he is well known for his insane work ethic, he is only going to get better from here. It’s easy to see that Lucius Fox is a name every baseball fan should be well aware of. He is developing quickly and the best part is, the slick-fielding speedster celebrated his 20th birthday just two days ago.
Featured Image Courtesy of: Mathew Carper / Legends on Deck