The Rays have remained patient in their development of shortstop Lucius Fox since his acquisition from the Giants in the 2016 Matt Moore trade. This past season, however, the club began to push the Bahamas native a bit more aggressively, giving him a late bump up to Double-A Montgomery after
The Rays have remained patient in their development of shortstop Lucius Fox since his acquisition from the Giants in the 2016 Matt Moore trade. This past season, however, the club began to push the Bahamas native a bit more aggressively, giving him a late bump up to Double-A Montgomery after nearly a full season with Class A Advanced Charlotte.
Though Fox scuffled in his first taste of the Double-A level, hitting .221 over 27 games after departing Charlotte with a .282 average, he believes the experience has played a part in his red-hot start in this year's Arizona Fall League.
Arizona Fall League overviews for all 30 teams
"Going to Double-A in August, for that one month…you learn a lot, and it's not the ability anymore; it's about the mental part of the game," said Fox, the Rays' No. 9 prospect per MLB Pipeline. "I was able to see that for a month, and that helped me."
Entering Tuesday, Fox, 21, has hit safely in all eight games for Peoria and currently leads the circuit with 11 runs scored. His .412 average, meanwhile, ranks third, and he's tied for third with six steals.
"This opportunity has blessed me with the teammates that have been in Double-A and Triple-A," Fox said, "and being able to see what they do before the game, how they prepare, what they think about pitchers, how they think about the game…it all makes me a better player. I'm taking it all in and learning something new every day."
Specifically, Fox is using the Fall League to improve his throws from shortstop.
"Being closer to the big leagues, you want to almost be perfect with your throwing -- you don't have time to figure it out up there," Fox said.
At the plate, the switch-hitting speedster is continuing to fine-tune aspects of his game that could make him a top-of-the-order catalyst at the highest level.
"Just working on stealing more bases and hitting -- working counts better, taking pitcher's pitches, swinging at my pitches and being more disciplined," Fox said.
Making Fox's AFL experience all the more memorable is that he has been able to share it with fellow Bahamas native Jazz Chisholm (D-backs' No. 3 prospect), who plays for the Salt River Rafters.
"It's always a competition with me and him," Fox said about his relationship with the 20-year-old Chisholm. "The biggest thing is he likes to hit home runs. He definitely won that this year.
"We have a competition of who can make it to the big leagues fastest. Hopefully I win that one."
Rays hitters in the Fall League
Joe McCarthy, OF -- The Rays' No. 17 prospect's season was truncated by a back injury that cost him nearly three months, but he returned to the field fully healthy in August and helped lead Triple-A Durham to its second straight Governors' Cup. The 24-year-old outfielder has long shown an advanced bat and elite on-base skills, and many evaluators expect McCarthy to eventually tap into his above-average raw power from the left side of the plate.
Ryan Boldt, OF -- No. 25 on the Rays' Top 30 list, Boldt was enjoying his best professional season, hitting .274/.348/.461 with 25 extra-base hits and 12 steals through 62 games, in his first Double-A campaign before an injury prematurely ended his season late in June. The 23-year-old likely profiles as a bench outfielder at the highest level, though an uptick in power could help him surpass such a projection.
Rays pitchers in the Fall League
Matt Krook, LHP -- Krook pitches at 89-91 mph with his fastball and pairs it with a hard, 85-88-mph slider as well as a changeup. Acquired from the Giants last offseason in the Evan Longoria deal, the 24-year-old southpaw spent all of 2018 at Double-A, posting a 4.26 ERA with a 63-percent ground-ball rate and .218 opponents' average across 37 games (six starts). In 74 innings, he racked up 95 strikeouts but also issued 50 walks.
Brandon Lawson, RHP -- The Rays' 12th-rounder in the 2016 Draft tossed a career-high 112 2/3 innings while splitting his season between Charlotte and Montgomery. The 23-year-old was an effective multi-innings reliever in the Southern League after starting for Charlotte. Overall, Lawson registered a 4.15 ERA, with 78 strikeouts and 34 walks between the two levels.
Dalton Moats, LHP -- The 23-year-old scuffled in his first Double-A campaign after an excellent first full season. Making 41 appearances, including 10 starts for the Biscuits, the 6-foot-3 left-hander compiled a 5.34 ERA and a 1.40 WHIP in 62 1/3 innings, striking out 65 and walking 29.
Phoenix Sanders, RHP -- The 10th-rounder in the 2017 Draft out of the University of South Florida posted 89 strikeouts against 22 walks in 64 1/3 innings in his first full season, spending the bulk of his time at Class A Bowling Green before a late-season promotion to Charlotte. The 23-year-old completed at least two innings in 23 of his 34 appearances between the two spots.
Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero.