By RENALDO DORSETT
Tribune Sports Reporter
LUCIUS Fox continues his progression through the Tampa Bay Rays organisation and has ascended to the Double-A level for the first time in his young career.
Fox was assigned to the Montgomery Biscuits of the Southern League.
Based in Montgomery, Alabama, the club plays its home games in the 7,000 seat Montgomery Riverwalk Stadium.
The 21-year-old shortstop got his first hit in Double-A when he went 1-2 with one RBI in the Biscuits' 7-4 win over the Pensacola Blue Wahoos. His sacrifice bunt plated Brett Sullivan to tie the game at two in the top of the 7th inning, and Fox also reached safely on a throwing error.
Fox joined a team that currently leads the Southern League's North division with an overall 61-52 record. They currently have a 2.5 game lead in the playoff race of the second half standings at 24-19.
He spent 91 games with the Charlotte Stone Crabs of Single-A Advanced of the Florida State League. He hit .282 with a .724 OPS, .371 OBP, 23 stolen bases, 99 hits, 17 doubles, one triple, two home runs, 30 RBI and 54 runs scored.
Fox was named to the Florida State League's Southern Division All-Star Team at the midseason classic.
In 2017, his first season with the Stone Crabs, Fox appeared in 30 games, hit .235 with a .608 OPS, .350 OBP, one home run, three stolen bases, 12 RBI and 19 runs scored.
He was assigned to the Stone Crabs in July after spending the previous 77 games with the Bowling Green Hot Rods of the Midwest League at the Single A-Full level.
In the previous 77 games with the Hot Rods, Fox hit a career-best .278 and ranked third in the Midwest League with 27 stolen bases. He also ranks second on the team with 45 runs scored, collected 27 RBI and totaled a .362 OBP and a .722 OPS with two runs. Fox was also featured in the annual showcase of Major League Baseball's top minor league prospects during the midseason All-Star classic.
He was selected to represent the World team in the 2017 SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game during MLB All-Star weekend and drove in an RBI in the loss to team USA. The Futures Game showcases the minor league during the MLB All-Star week festivities.
Within the Rays organisation he was recognised as the Baserunner of the Year. His 30 stolen bases ranked second among Rays minor leaguers. He was successful on 30 of his 43 attempts (69.7 per cent).
Fox notched another career milestone last offseason to receive a Major League call-up during Spring Training when he was assigned to the Rays' Grapefruit League roster and saw immediate action on the field against the Minnesota Twins.
Fox entered spring training at No.7 on the prospect list for the Rays among players still listed with rookie eligibility.
Fox is a top-flight athlete with plus-plus speed and three more tools that should be at least solid. The switch-hitter profiles as a future leadoff-type hitter, as he employs a solid approach, produces line-drive contact from both sides of the plate and knows how to use his impressive wheels once on base. Fox won't offer much in the way of over-the-fence power, but he does have some strength and can drive some balls to the gaps, making him a source of doubles and triples," MLB Prospect Watch said.
"Fox's range, quick hands, and arm fit easily at shortstop, though, like any young shortstop, he needs to fine-tune his game and learn the nuances of the position. Some scouts don't love his middle-infield actions and think he'll fit better in centre field, though the Rays believe he can stay at short, lauding his super athleticism and ability to learn quickly."