So about that article from yesterday ... uh, it was a fine educated guess. But the Giants did make a big splash on the international market, signing switch-hitting shortstop prospect Lucius Fox for a reported $6.5 million. That means the Giants will pay about $4 million in penalties and lose the ability to spend more than $300,000 on a single player for the next two signing periods.
It's a steep price, but Fox was considered one of the very best prospects on the market. He turns 18 today, which is on the older side for prospects who will sign for good money, but he was attending high school in America and used a loophole to go to his native Bahamas so he could be eligible for international free agency instead of the draft. That strategy probably netted him a few million. Fine work.
His advanced age and play against advanced, showcase competition ostensibly takes the a little of the risk away that you might find with a 16-year-old player. Here's what Baseball America has to say about him:
At his best, he shows feel to hit from both sides of the plate with a line-drive bat, although some scouts were expecting to see more from his bat given his age. It’s not a conventional swing—it can get uphill and there’s some inconsistency with his hand set-up—but his athleticism and coordination give him a chance to hit. He doesn’t have much power but he’s a plus-plus runner who could potentially hit near the top of the lineup if everything clicks.
Staying at shortstop is still a possibility, but there's also a chance that he could move to center field.
Here's MLB.com on him:
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 it's impacted his overall game.
And, finally, FanGraphs' Kiley McDaniel.
Fox was smaller last summer, around 6'1/160 and ran 6.5 or lower in the 60 (at least 70 speed), but his arm was a little shy for shortstop and while he had contact skills, he had little power. Since moving back to the Bahamas, Fox grew an inch, added about 15 lbs. or muscle and is still an easy plus runner, but now with more pop and arm strength. The contact skills are still there and scouts would start him at shortstop in pro ball, though some think his actions aren't quite good enough to stick and think he'll end up in center field. Second base is also possible, but he'll play shortstop for at least a few years in the minors with upside to be an everyday player at any up-the-middle position.
Fast dude, getting bigger, with plus switch-hitting potential up the middle. Yes, sure, I'll take seven. And hopefully, considering the penalties the Giants will have for the next two years because of this signing, the team really will take seven. They're already going to prospect jail, so they might as well commit some more arsons along the way.
Now that the scouty quotes are out of the way, there are two things to note: First, the Dodgers were supposed to sign Fox. It was basically a done deal. Now we have their Lucius Fox, and there's nothing they can do about it. Neener.
Second, as you'll hear for the next 20 years, this is also Lucius Fox:
He's from the Batman movies and the comic books. This is from Detective Comics 709, from 1997:
If he wasn't named after a Batman character, this is an amazing, beautiful coincidence. It's amazing, either way. To the scouting report!
CEO of Wayne Enterprises, Fox has the "Midas Touch", an ability to turn failing businesses into successful conglomerates. Fox is called in to the failing Wayne Enterprises and brings a balance to both Bruce Wayne's private and business finances.
Yes, that'll do. A sixth tool.
Welcome, Lucius Fox! Happy birthday! Enjoy your millions! Do good baseball things!
Told you the Giants weren't going away quietly today. Ha ha ha ughhh.