Int'l prospect Fox eager to make mark in bigs

Int'l prospect Fox eager to make mark in bigs

SAN FRANCISCO -- There have been just six players from the Bahamas to ever play in the Major Leagues, none of which have been able to make a major impact. But Lucius Fox is hoping to change that.

The Giants signed Fox, a Nassau, Bahamas native, on July 2, giving him a $6 million bonus, the top non-Cuban international amateur bonus of all time.

Fox, ranked No. 3 on MLB.com's Top 30 International Prospects list, spent 2 1/2 years as a teen in the United States playing baseball, but returned home to become eligible to sign during the international-signing period. He said playing ball in the U.S. helped him improve his skills and grow as an individual.

"Playing with guys as good as me and even better, you get to see what you need to work on to make that next step," Fox said. "My time in America made me a better person."

The day Fox signed with the Giants was his 18th birthday -- quite the present for someone his age.

"The best birthday gift ever," Fox said.

At 6-foot-1, 165 pounds, Fox was signed as a shortstop, but scouts are split on whether he will serve best as a middle infielder or center fielder.

"I can play any position on the field, honestly," Fox said. "Whatever helps the organization win and the team win, I'm willing to do that."

There have also been glowing reports about Fox's work ethic. MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez wrote in May that Fox was one of the most coveted prospects during the international-signing period, largely in part to his determination to improve his game.

"The great players, they never think they can't get better," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "That's part of the reason we're making a big investment in this kid is the work ethic that he has."

One of the six Bahamian players to reach the big leagues, Andre Rodgers, began his career with the Giants. Rodgers, a career .249 hitter, played 11 years in the Major Leagues, but was unable to make a major splash. But Fox said Rodgers' career in the Majors resonated with him, given they come from the same country.

"I'm well aware of him and all he's done for the Bahamas and how he's opened the eyes for Bahamian baseball players," Fox said.

Fox said making it to The Show would be special to both him and his country and give other young athletes in the Bahamas hope for careers in baseball.

"It would mean a lot, especially for the kids [back home]," Fox said. "It will give them something to strive for."

Oliver Macklin is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.