KC Royals Trade Alert: Brett Phillips to Rays for Lucius Fox

KC Royals, Brett Phillips (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
KC Royals, Brett Phillips (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images) /

The KC Royals have started things off on the trade market, sending off one of their many outfielders for a young infield prospect.

There have been plenty of questions lately concerning whether or not the KC Royals would be buyers or sellers when it comes to the trade deadline this year. While there was no clear word, many likely figured if anyone was going to go first, it would be the veteran reliever Trevor Rosenthal. Instead, the Royals have moved one of their may outfielders, Brett Phillips.

Brett Phillips came to the Royals through a trade that saw him and Brewers teammate Jorge Lopez to Kansas City for Mike Moustakas. The Royals have announced that Phillips has been traded to the Tampa Bay Rays for infield prospect Lucius Fox.

Lucius Fox was the 26th ranked prospect in the Tampa Bay Rays organization according to the MLB prospect rankings. He has played primarily at shortstop, though has seen some limited time at both second and third base and also worked on improving his abilities in the outfield according to Baseball America.

On the basepath, he is just as the Royals like it, fast. He stole 39 bases in the minors in 2019, 29 in 2018, 30 in 2017, and 25 in 2016. When it comes to his offensive production, he has very little power, resulting in a low number of extra-base hits, even with his speed.

He has seen a decent batting average in some seasons, but saw a decline and struggle when playing between AA and AAA during the 2019 season, slashing .221/.331/.327 between both. He is said to have a good eye for the zone, resulting in a good number of walks according to both his MLB prospect report and FanGraphs, though, he has also seen his strikeout rate increase as he jumps minor league levels.

Fox is also said to have an above-average arm and good athletic ability, allowing him to have good defensive skills. FanGraphs reports there have been some inconsistencies in his defense, though, and that he will need to improve to be a regular in the lineup.

It will be interesting to see how the Royals use Fox and whether or not he sees time during this season. The Royals may feel he needs more time to develop and work with their defensive and offensive coaches to see if they can help bring out his full potential.

It may be sad for many to see Brett Phillips go, but with the Royals, his playing time was limited. With numerous outfield options already in the majors and some knocking at the door, it’s no surprise the Royals were looking to clear some space.

Fox may not directly fit the known needs of the team at this moment, but with multiple minor league options and a few years of control, the Royals may find a good way to fit him into the lineup and bring even more speed to Kansas City.

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Be sure to check back for any trade updates as the trade deadline draws closer and closer.