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Royals Lose to Rockies; Sign Dominican Outfielder Elier Hernandez

The Royals continue to be aggressive in pursuing young talent as they rebuild the minor league system in hopes of turning around the major league product.

It wasn't good news on the field last evening for the Royals, as they opened up a series in Denver against the Rockies with a 9-0 loss. Kansas City was held to just four hits, while Danny Duffy allowed five runs on nine hits, including two home runs over five innings as Colorado blanked the Royals who fell to 33-49.

However the bigger news of the past 24 hours is the club having signed 16-year-old Dominican outfielder Elier Hernandez to a $3.05 million deal early Saturday morning., July 2nd marks the opening of the International signing period. Unlike the NBA, which recently saw so many draft picks from foreign countries, the Major League baseball draft only allows picks from the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico. This makes the July 2nd date a big deal for baseball executives and scouts who have been doing their homework in Latin America.

At 6'4" and 200 lbs, Hernandez already has the size to play in the majors, and at 16, he is thought of as one of the premier talents in the Dominican this year. His bat is quick, meaning he has fast hands. Some say he has potential 5-tool makeup.

The deal given to Hernandez is the highest amount Kansas City has ever given to an international free agent fielder, second only to the deal given to Cuban pitcher Noel Arguelles. Arguelles, 21, is pitching for Class A Wilmington where he is 2-3 with w 2.32 ERA this season. He has struck out 41 while walking just five batters.

Here is a video from 2010 of Hernandez taking batting practice.