Americas grad Darell Hernaiz continues to rise in Orioles organization
EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — When drafted from Americas High School by the Baltimore Orioles in the fifth round of the 2019 MLB Draft, Darell Hernaiz was just 17 years old.
Three years later, he still can’t legally buy a beer at the tender age of 20, but the infielder – who turns 21 on August 3 – is steadily climbing the Orioles; agricultural system.
Originally signed with Texas Tech out of high school, Hernaiz instead signed a deal with the Orioles that gave him a $400,000 signing bonus. Now in his third season of professional baseball, the former Trail Blazer is currently with the Delmarva Shorebirds, the Single-A affiliate of the Orioles, located in Salisbury, MD.
Hernaiz is off to a stellar start to 2022, hitting .350 with four home runs and 13 RBIs in just 10 games so far. He went crazy on Wednesday night, hitting a pair of home runs in Delmarva’s loss to the Myrtle Beach Pelicans.
Hernaiz’s hot start is more in line with what he did for the Americas. As a senior in 2019, Hernaiz hit over .400 with seven homers. It took time for him to find his place in the minor league ranks, however.
As a rookie pitcher in 2019, Hernaiz hit .263 with two home runs and 17 RBIs in 29 games. The 2020 minor league season was lost due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so when Hernaiz next entered the field in 2021 for Delmarva, it was slow. He’s hit .277 with just six homers and 52 RBI in 2021 but has knocked it down at home plate so far in 2022.
Hernaiz is expected to be either a shortstop or a second baseman at the MLB level and has timeshares at both positions this spring. If there’s one place he could improve, it’s there. He has played six games at shortstop and four at second base, committing a total of seven errors. However, his bat is catching up right now.
Hernaiz is only 20 years old, but he is highly regarded in the Orioles organization and has occasionally appeared on the club’s top 30 prospect list during his short career.
If he continues the tear he’s on, Hernaiz could be Double A or higher very soon.