by RENALDO DORSETT
When Lucius Fox reclassified as an international free agent in late April, the Bahamian star on the diamond became one of the most sought after Major League Baseball prospects for the summer transaction period.
Fox, who was expected to be of of the top 50 selections in this month’s draft, petitioned to be declared an international free agent when he moved back home this spring following a storied career at American Heritage High School in Florida.
Fox, 17, has emerged on a short list of highly touted prospects when the 2015-16 international prospect signing period opens up on July 2.
The Los Angeles Dodgers, Texas Rangers, Cincinnati Reds and San Francisco Giants are rumored to be the teams targeting the dynamic shortstop.
The 6’2″ 170 pound Fox has reportedly added 15 pounds of muscle to his frame over the past year and is ranked third overall by mlb.com’s Prospect Watch.
The rankings follow the guidelines laid out by the new collective bargaining agreement. Players are graded on a 20-80 scale for future tools – 20-30 is well below average, 40 is below average, 50 is average, 60 is above average and 70-80 is well above average.
Fox was given both “Run” and “Field” grades of 60, “Arm” grade of 55, “Hit” grades of 50 and “power” grade of 45.
He currently trains at Maximum D Sports Academy while at home in the Bahamas.
The MLB prospect scouting report on Fox said: “Some consider Fox a five-tool player and the best overall athlete in the class. He’s advanced. On defense, Fox is a sure-handed fielder with quick actions, and he has a strong enough arm to keep him at shortstop. He can also play second base. On offense, he’s known for his ability to put the ball in play, and he can spray the ball to all fields. Fox has gap power, but he’s gained bulk and strength during the last several months, and its impacted his overall game.”
He has appeared in the vaunted Perfect Game showcase for the past three seasons, which has increased his exposure while playing at American Heritage.
This year he was named a Perfect Game Third Team All-American and Florida – All Region First Team.
As a junior he was named 2014 Underclass Second Team and as a sophomore in 2013 he was named an Underclass Honorable Mention
These are the rules for signing prospects like Fox
An international player is eligible to sign with a Major League team between July 2 through June 15 of next year if he is 17 or will turn 17 by the end of the first season of his contract.
Additionally, any prospect that is already 17 or older and has not previously signed a Major or Minor League contract, resides outside the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico and has not been enrolled in a high school or college in the U.S., Canada or Puerto Rico within the previous year is eligible to sign during the period.