Yesterday the Rays and Royals completed a relatively minor trade, with Tampa Bay trading SS Lucius Fox to Kansas City in exchange for OF Brett Phillips. There was a time that Fox was seen as a strong prospect, but that now feels like a lifetime ago. Over the past few years his stock has plummeted, including posting the following numbers at Double-A in ’19:
.230 (84-365), 3 HR, 33 RBI, 60 R, 37 SB
He made his Triple-A debut, and while he did struggle his approach appeared solid with an 8.9% SwStr% and 12.3% walk rate. There’s also no denying his speed, including adding 8 triples.
The question is with a fresh start could he finally start to live up to the hype once bestowed upon him? There are questions as to where he’ll fit defensively, with his speed making him a potential for CF or he could shift to 2B or 3B. Now 23-years old, he needs to start taking the next step if he wants to reach his potential however. Here’s what Baseball America said prior to the season:
Fox has gotten more selective and he has improved his barrel control at the plate, but he just doesn’t impact the ball. The hope remains that he will add size and strength to his frame to add to his bottom-of-the-scale power, but it hasn’t happened in his first four pro seasons. He does know how to draw a walk, so if he can raise his .220-.230 average to just .260-.270 his secondary skills would make him playable, but he needs to hit the ball over outfielders’ heads more to make that happen.
Currently listed at 6’1″ and 185 lbs., the hope would be that a new voice helps him figure things out at the plate. Of course the Royals aren’t know for that type of development, look no further than Adalberto Mondesi as proof (18.5% SwStr%, 40.8% O-Swing%).
While there remains upside in Fox, it’s hard to buy in at this point. He’s more of a player to watch, unless there’s some significant development and growth.
Current Grade – C-
Upside Grade – C+
Sources – Fangraphs, MILB.com, Baseball America