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Rays Top 50 Prospects: No.12, Lucius Fox

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MLB: All Star Game-Futures Game Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

One of the many prospects the Rays have obtained from the San Francisco Giants in recent years, the next prospect on our list is the one who received the heftiest signing bonus.

No.12, SS Lucius Fox, 20 yrs old

Born: July 2nd, 1997 in Nassau, Bahamas

Height/Weight: 6’1” 175 lbs Bats/Throws: S/R

Signed: by the Giants July 2nd, 2015, as an international FA for a $6M bonus

Twitter handle: @l_fox24

Twitter profile statement:Professional Baseball Player in the Tampa Bay Rays organization #TrustTheProcess

Baseball America Rankings

  • Ranked as the 4th best Giants prospect post-2015
  • Ranked as the 16th best Rays prospect post-2016
  • Ranked as the 7th best Rays prospect post-2017

DRB Writers ranking

  • High: 9th
  • Low: 17th

Lucius Fox: Abilities

  • Plus-plus speed
  • Better-than-average D at SS
  • Developing hit tool
  • Below average power

Grades for ‘18 (Pipeline): Hit: 50 | Pwr: 40 | Run: 70 | Arm: 55 | Fld: 55 | Overall: 50

  • Abilities notes: The majority of Fox’s tools are still fairly raw after a foot injury took away much of his playing time in 2016, shortly after the Rays acquired him. Apparently he had kept the injury to himself and it surprised the Rays.

Joined the Rays by way of....

Trade, along with INF Matt Duffy and RHP Michael Santos in return for LHP Matt Moore.

Due to the stress fracture found in his foot and lack of playing time within the Rays system in 2016, Rays farm director Mitch Lukevics had this to say about Fox before 2017,

“We’re really anxious to see him (play) for more than a day,” Lukevics said. “We’re anxious to see him play now and see how the tools play. Other than rehab and doing some workouts, he’s relatively unknown to us.”

Latest Transaction: assigned to Charlotte from Bowling Green July 25th, 2017.

Note - Fox also spent some time with the Rays in Spring Training 2018, getting 5 AB and managing one hit, 2 SO.

Facts, Honors, and Awards

  • Roger Mooney has a must-read article if you want to know where things stood with Fox before the 2017 season began.
  • On his passion for the game of baseball, Fox had this to say,

“People asked me all the time if I had a Plan B, because I always said I wanted to be a professional baseball player,” he said. “I told them I don’t have a Plan B, honestly. I was just thinking baseball, baseball, baseball. I never had a fallback plan, so I’m just going to work hard here and hopefully have a long career in the major leagues.”

  • Get to know Lucius in an interview included in the Tweet below,

Stats

Lucius Fox

GP 107
GP 107
PA 476
AB 417
Hits 111
Doubles 16
Triples 3
Home Runs 3
RBI 39
SB (CS) 30 (13)
AVG 0.266
OBP 0.350
SLG 0.341
OPS 0.691
BB% 9.5 %
SO% 23.7 %
ISO 0.074
BAbip 0.356
wOBA 0.326
wRC+ 103

Stats Notes: After his promotion to HiA, Fox struggled most vs right hand pitching, as evidenced by a slash line of .217/.283/.277 through 83 AB against them. That was a stark contrast to the .308/.377/.398 he managed against righties in LoA.

Interesting Comparison: Trea Turner

When it comes to speed, no other short stop in MLB can currently match Turner, so that’ll be our comp for Fox. Ironically, both are about the same size at 6’1”, with Turner having 20 lbs on Fox at 195 vs 175 (for now). The main difference between the two is the fact that Fox is a switch-hitter while Turner bats right.

Of course Turner’s hit tool appears to be far superior to Fox’s. However, let’s remember that Turner was a much more polished hitter when he went through the minors and that he was two years older at the same level (21 in LoA vice Fox who was 19). So, there’s still hope for Fox to catch up some and close the gap in the average and OBP areas.

Fox managed to steal 30 bases (10 CS) while Turner managed 23 steals (4) and both received a 6.5 Spd rating overall. In terms of BB/K, Turner managed 0.52 while Fox was at 0.40 and both managed a 10% BB rate (keeping in mind that Fox played a level higher for part of the year as well).

Both are noted as likely being able to handle CF, 3B, and/or 2B at the same point in their careers. Turner was by far more polished a defender at SS, but both received rave reviews overall and we again fall into the age and experience difference.

Overall, expecting Fox to reach Turner’s ceiling is unrealistic, but expecting him to close the gap between the two is not.

Notes for 2018 and beyond

It’s sometimes tough to buy into tools when you haven’t seen the results you were hoping to see overall, but that’s what Fox demands as a prospect. His raw tools hold so much promise that it’s hard to not envision him earning at least a bench role when he reaches MLB. From there, the chance to earn a full-time role seems to depend mostly on how well his hitting abilities develop.

With that in mind, we look at the patience at the plate and the contact abilities and are led to believe he has what it takes to improve significantly at the plate. The bat speed is there as well, and although he’s unlikely to ever become a power threat, there’s enough power in him to reach double digits in HRs on occasion while loading up on doubles and triples.

The Rays seemed very impressed with his progress in 2017 and although he is returning to HiA to start the season he should be a quick mover to AA, possibly as part of the ripple effect when Willy Adames gets promoted to MLB.

While continuing to improve his base-stealing abilities, Fox will likely focus on improving his defensive and hitting skills, something we monitor closely through the 2018 season.

That timeline should put Fox in range of getting promoted to AAA for his age 21-22 season and have him in conversation for MLB in 2020.

Lucius Fox: Spotlight Videos

Recap and links of previously listed DRB Top 55 Rays Prospects

*Note: rankings were adjusted and reflect recent additions to the system - it is now a Top 55 list