Oct 24, 2014; San Francisco, CA, USA; Detailed shot of the championship ring of San Francisco Giants general manager Brian Sabean before game three of the 2014 World Series against the Kansas City Royals at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports
The last time the San Francisco Giants spent over $6 million on an amateur player, his name was Buster Posey and he went on to win a Rookie of the Year Award, an MVP, two Silver Sluggers and three World Championships. So forgive me for getting excited that the Giants have decided to again seriously invest in a prospect.
This time, the recipient of the Giants’ generosity is Bahamian shortstop Lucius Fox who the Giants signed to a $6.5 million contract earlier his summer. With penalties, the Giants will end up paying around $10 million on the transaction.
According to experts, Fox has phenomenal upside. MLB.com wrote of the 18-year-old: “One of the most intriguing prospects on the market, Fox is an interesting combination of speed, athleticism, a projectable body and age” … “some consider Fox a five-tool player and the best overall athlete in the class. He’s advanced.”
Fox has drawn comparisons to Jose Reyes. Don’t forget that before Reyes was toiling in Colorado, he was a perennial All-Star for the Mets.
Fox has gotten praise even from his future boss. Bruce Bochy, not exactly known for his rosy disposition, told the Mercury News that: “Our scouts are ranting and raving about (Fox). His athleticism, his bat, his defense, everything.”
Along with his impressive physical tools, Fox’s background is promising. Fox played high school ball in Florida, which benefits him in two ways: 1. he got to play against better competition than he would have in his native Bahamas, and 2. because of his time in Florida, he will experience less of a culture shock when he begins his professional career in the states.
The Bahamas has hardly been a hotbed for Major League talent. Only six native Bahamians have ever made it to The Show and none of them had a lasting impact. If Fox becomes a superstar, and national hero back in the Bahamas, it could give the Giants a leg up on future Bahamian prospects. I’m not saying the Giants just discovered the next Dominican Republic, but there is precedent for teams benefiting from positive relationships with entire countries, such as the Seattle Mariners and Japan.
If you did not think the news about Fox could get any better, it does. The Dodgers were expected to sign the shortstop, only to have the Giants swoop in at the last minute. The Dodgers have shown skill in signing international players (Yasiel Puig, Alex Guerrero, Kenley Jansen), so if they were interested in Fox, it probably means he is the real deal.
More from Around the Foghorn
- SF Giants: Reliever Reyes Moronta clears outright waivers
- SF Giants sign veteran 1B John Nogowski to minor league deal
- SF Giants call on veteran LHP Scott Kazmir for big start against Padres
- SF Giants: Update on Alex Dickerson’s rehab assignment
- Atlanta claims SF Giants C Chadwick Tromp off waivers
Of course, it is unreasonable to expect Fox to be the next Buster Posey. For every Buster Posey there are a dozen Gary Browns (1st-round pick, seven career at-bats). Furthermore, the Giants overspent their allotted international allowance to get Fox, meaning that they will forfeit their chance to spend big on an international prospect for the next two years.
But why look at the negatives? Fox is young, he’s talented, and he adds life to a stagnant farm system. Plus, the Giants have him and the Dodgers don’t. As of right now it’s not out of the question to say he could be a Reyes-type down the road.