By RENALDO DORSETT
Tribune Sports Reporter
LUCIUS Fox notched another career milestone and became the second Bahamian this offseason to receive a Major League call-up during Spring Training.
Fox was assigned to the Tampa Bay Rays’ Grapefruit League roster and saw immediate action on the field against the Minnesota Twins at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Florida.
In the bottom of the fifth inning, Fox replaced shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria as a pinch runner. He would eventually score on a Denard Span RBI. Fox remained in the game defensively at shortstop for the remainder of the afternoon. The Twins won 8-4.
His call-up came just a day after Jervis Stuart received his Spring Training call-up from the New York Mets.
Fox entered spring training at No.7 on the prospect list for the Rays among players still listed with rookie eligibility.
Fox was assigned to the Charlotte Stone Crabs at the Single A-Advanced level last July. In 30 games with the club, he hit .235 with a .608 OPS, .350 OBP, one home run, three stolen bases, 12 RBI and 19 runs scored.
The 20-year-old shortstop spent the previous 77 games with the Bowling Green Hot Rods of the Midwest League at the Single A-Full level. For 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 totalled a .362 OBP and a .722 OPS with two runs.
“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,” 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.”
Fox was also featured in the annual showcase of Major League Baseball’s top minor league prospects during the midseason All-Star classic. He drove in one RBI, but his Futures World team fell one run short in their rally and a 7-6 loss to team USA at the 2017 SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game.