By RENALDO DORSETT
Tribune Sports Reporter
LUCIUS Fox became the seventh Bahamian minor league prospect to be listed among the top 30 in his organisation by Major League Baseball this offseason.
Fox was listed as the No.11 overall prospect in the Tampa Bay Rays organisation. The Rays were listed as the No.2 farm system in all of the MLB.
The 21-year-old shortstop is currently in spring training with the Rays in the Grapefruit League. In his last appearance, he went 2-2 with one RBI in an 8-2 win over the Minnesota Twins on February 28. “Fox’s athleticism and speed are among the best in the organisation, and he has three other tools that should be at least solid. He’s a switch-hitter who has the ingredients of a prototypical leadoff hitter with his advanced approach and knack for making line-drive contact from both sides of the plate.
“He’s a better right-handed hitter (.341/.424/.417 in ‘18) than he is lefty (.238/.321/.309), but shows more raw power as the latter. Fox projects for well-below-average power overall, but he tallies his share of doubles and triples thanks largely to the 70-grade speed that also fuels his impact potential on the basepaths,” his Prospect Analysis said. “A true shortstop, Fox has the range, hands and above-average arm strength to remain at the position long-term.
He lacks consistency at times and will appear a bit raw with some of his actions, but he’s also capable of making electric, highlight-reel plays. The Rays are confident in his abilities there, viewing him as an above-average defensive shortstop when all is said and done.
Last season, Fox achieved two All-Star appearances and reached the Double-A level for the first time in his career. He concluded the season with an Arizona Fall League Championship for the Peoria Javelinas in a 3-2 win over Jazz Chisholm and the Salt River Rafters. In the title game, he finished 1-3 (double), drew two walks, with one run scored and one stolen base.
In the AFL he hit .326 for Peoria with a .437 OBP, an .821 OPS in 22 games. Fox had 29 hits, including three doubles, one home run, collected 11 RBIs, eight stolen bases and 12 runs scored. He was also named an AFL All-Star.
Fox advanced to Double-A when the Rays assigned him to the Montgomery Biscuits.
In 27 games with the Biscuits, Fox hit .221 with a .284 OBP, four stolen bases, 23 hits, three doubles, one triple, nine RBI and 14 runs scored. He previously 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. He was named to the Florida State League’s Southern Division All-Star Team at the midseason classic.