Lucius Fox did not have a chance to make an impression for the Tampa Bay Rays last year. He is making up for lost time this season.
When Matt Moore was traded to the San Francisco Giants last year, the Tampa Bay Rays received infielder Matt Duffy along with prospects Lucius Fox and Michael Santos. The trade did not produce anything close to immediate dividends for the Rays, as Duffy was injured shortly after being acquired and Santos did not pitch in their system last season, as he was already on the disabled list.
Fox, however, was expected to make his debut in the Rays system. An exciting prospect, he had struggled to a .207/.305/.277 batting line, showing little extra base power. Fox had stolen 25 bases, but as it turned out, he was not healthy. He had been playing through a severe bruise on his foot, which was not disclosed at the time of the trade. Instead, he was sidelined for the rest of the season, as the trade appeared to be a bust from the initial returns.
This season, Fox is making up for lost time. Through his first 46 games, Fox is showing signs of being the explosive talent he was expected to be. He has produced a .290/.370/.352 batting line, hitting eight doubles and stealing 15 bases. Fox has continued to display a solid batting eye, with a 9.9% walk rate, showing the potential to become a useful leadoff hitter.
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His performance this season is fitting with his scouting report. After being signed by the Giants as an international free agent out of the Bahamas, despite playing high school ball in Florida, Fox was considered a top five talent. He was prized for his athleticism and ability to make contact, although it was clear that he would lack any semblance of power.
It is also interesting to note that Fox was considered someone that could stick at short, but could possibly move to another position. He was mentioned as a possible second baseman or center fielder, depending on his growth. Likewise, depending on how quickly he develops, a positional change could be necessary if top prospect Willy Adames has seized the shortstop position.
Lucius Fox did not have a chance to show his abilities for the Tampa Bay Rays last season. This year, he is making up for lost time, and could race up the prospect ranks.