Chances are unless you are really plugged into the international baseball scene you have not heard of Lucius Fox. But according to Fangraphs Lead Prospect Analyst Kiley McDaniel just a mere three days ago Fox, an 18 year old prospect from the Bahamas (who played his high school ball in Delray Beach Florida) was declared a free agent by Major League Baseball and this young prospect could be the answer to all the Friar Faithful’s prayers for a long term shortstop.
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First off what does this future millionaire bring to the table? According to his scouting report on Perfect Game.com Fox is a 6.4 runner, a very good defensive SS and has the hitting tools to go with it. Basically he is an extremely high ceiling player. Additionally, unlike most high-school shortstops he will most likely stay at the position unless he has some late growth spurt. Just read this scouting report from the 2014 National Showcase and tell me you’re not excited.
"Lucius Fox Jr. is a 2015 SS with a 6-0 160 lb. frame from Delray Beach, FL who attends American Heritage HS. Young slender athletic build, looks more like a 2017 than a 2015, very projectable physically. 6.41 runner, plus speed evident in all actions on the field, plays with energy and quickness. Aggressive at shortstop, charges and works through everything, very fast arm with very good raw arm strength, athleticism really stands out on defense. Switch-hitter, similar approaches both sides, looks a bit more natural right handed, good swing mechanics both sides, explodes his hands well at the ball, controls the barrel and makes contact, looks to pull, very projectable offensively with additional strength. Has a chance to be a special player, just very young physically right now. Excellent student."
The stakes are high for the Bahamian and according to mlbtraderumors.com the biggest threats to hand out the seven figure offer required to sign the 18 year old are the Cubs, Dodgers and Rangers. However the Giants, Padres and Reds have also been linked to Fox, but the rumor is that the price tag is too high for these teams.
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Although Fox will need some seasoning before contributing to a Major League team, this writer wouldn’t be surprised if the Padres made a play for the young shortstop for several reasons. The first reason is after an off-season filled with trades the Padres farm system is depleted and what better way to restock the shelves than spending seven figures to buy a player that would be a first round of the 2015 draft.
Secondly, the Padres have no clear answer at shortstop in the Majors or Minors at this point except for Jose Rondon (Alexi Amarista and Clint Barmes do not count). Rondon however, has a much lower ceiling than Fox. Every which way you look at it the Padres could use a shortstop and I hope they make a play for Fox.
The final reason I think the Padres might shoot for Lucius Fox is marketability. How cool would all the Batman signs be. The Padres could get Morgan Freeman to announce his name as he walks up to the plate. Okay so I’m just having a little fun, but I could see Padres fans having fun with it as well.
Well that’s all I have to say, what do you guys think? Should the Padres make a run at Lucius Fox? Could you see Fox manning shortstops for the Friars in two or three years? Let me know what you think in the comments.