The Orioles announced Friday that they’ve claimed infielder Lucius Fox off waivers from the Royals. The waiver claim gives Baltimore 33 filled spots on the 40-man roster.
Fox, 24, was a big-time international signing by the Giants out of the Bahamas back in the 2015-16 international signing period. Signed to a $6MM bonus, Fox was viewed as a gifted up-the-middle defender with a promising hit tool but a lack of power. San Francisco clearly wasn’t the only club enamored of his skill set, as he’s been included in a couple of notable trades — going from San Francisco to Tampa Bay in the Evan Longoria swap and from the Rays to the Royals in exchange for Brett Phillips.
To this point in his career, Fox has gotten on base at a respectable clip but has indeed demonstrated a lack of power. In five minor league seasons, he’s posted a .244/.339/.332 batting line — never topping five home runs or 20 doubles in a given season. Scouting reports on Fox, including this one from FanGraphs’ Eric Longenhagen, note that he has plus speed and strong defensive tools but is still inconsistent with the glove. Fox’s prospect star has dimmer in recent year, and he now comes to the Orioles as the next in a growing line of former-top-prospect waiver claims (e.g. Jorge Mateo, Jahmai Jones).
Fox still has an option remaining, so if he can’t win a piece of what should be a wide-open shortstop competition in Spring Training, he can still be sent to Triple-A Norfolk without needing to first pass through waivers.