Keith Law recently put out a list of the top farm systems in baseball and the Kansas City Royals ended up at No. 5 overall -- a sign that they're still strong yet they've also sent a few of the top prospects up to the Major Leagues in Eric Hosmer and Danny Duffy. Now Law has put out another list identifying a top sleeper prospect from each system, and he says the Royals' choice is Elier Hernandez.
Law writes, "The Royals gave Elier Hernandez a club-record bonus of more than $3 million, in part because they felt he was more advanced at the plate than the typical 16-year-old Latin American prospect. He's a big, physical kid with average power now that projects to plus and good pitch recognition for his age. But as an average runner, he is probably ticketed for right field."
The DPL Baseball profile loves the kid and writes:
Elier is a physical specimen at age 16, he’s 6’2, roughly 180lb XL frame, with a well proportion athletic body. He’s a strong kid with room to add on some pounds of muscle. His body type resembles Torii Hunter. Hernandez is mature for his age and is one of the few players from the Dominican Republic that will graduate from High School at age 16.
Hernandez has the potential to be a five tool player in the future, although he’s not very far from having 5 above average tools now. He makes consistent solid contact showing good bat speed and power potential. He’s an average fielder now that can play any out-field position, he runs average to below (7.0 60yrd dash) but projects to run above average in the future, he possess arm strength and accuracy that will play.