Two top-20 prospects, a native Kentuckian, and the son of the manager of the Boston Red Sox will begin the 2014 baseball season as members of the Lexington Legends.
In addition, the Legends' co-leader in home runs in 2013, outfielder Fred Ford, will be back to the start the 2014 season in Lexington.
The Kansas City Royals, the Legends' parent club, released rosters for their minor-league affiliates at the conclusion of spring training in Surprise, Ariz., on Sunday.
Outfielder Elier Hernandez, 19, is ranked as the Royals' 11th-best prospect by MLB.com. Hernandez, a native of the Dominican Republic, batted .301 in 2013 with three homers and 44 RBI in 66 games with Idaho Falls, which won the championship in the Pioneer League.
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MLB.com described Hernandez as having "considerable offensive potential" and as "a good athlete with tremendous bat speed ... certainly has the arm most teams want from the corner spot."
Hernandez signed with the Royals in 2011, and is "believed by many to be the top Latin American talent in that class," according to MLB.com.
Infielder Humberto Arteaga, who spent part of 2013 with the Legends, returns to Lexington. He is ranked 19th among Royals prospects by MLB.com. Arteaga, known for outstanding defensive skills, played shortstop and second base for Lexington and Idaho Falls in 2013.
Pitcher Andrew Edwards, a native of Benton, Ky., who resides in Gilbertsville, becomes the fourth native Kentuckian to play for the Legends, joining Josh Anderson (Somerset), Chris Clark (Richmond) and Jason Chowning (Louisville). Edwards, a right-hander who pitched for Western Kentucky University, began his professional career in 2013 with Burlington. He was third in the Appalachian League in saves with eight.
Luke Farrell has been around professional baseball all his life, and is now working his way up the minor-league ladder as a pitcher. The son of Boston Red Sox Manager John Farrell was selected in the sixth round of the June 2013 amateur draft out of Northwestern.
Ford returns after hitting 13 home runs with Lexington last year, tying him for the team lead with Bubba Starling.