#8 Elier Hernandez
Acquired: Signed as International Free Agent in 2011
From: San Cristobal, Dominican Republic
The Royals made a huge splash in the Latin American market last July, when they signed top prospect Elier Hernandez to a $3.05 million bonus. According to Baseball America, Hernandez possesses some of the best bat speed that has been seen of a player his age in recent years. Thanks to this awesome bat speed, Elier projects to hit for above average power and contact abilities.
Despite being just seventeen years old, Hernandez already has a man's build at 6-3, 210. Even with this size, Hernandez runs with average speed and excellent quickness. Early in his development he could receive time in center, but eventually he should win up in right, where his plus arm should play up.
Hernandez will open 2012, in extended Spring Training. When the Arizona League begins, he should be playing for the AZL Royals. Although, it is possible that if the Royals are extremely impressed, he could get an opportunity at a more advanced Rookie League stop.