Orioles select El Paso’s Hernaiz with 138th pick in MLB Draft

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Americas High School shortstop Darell Hernaiz’s boyhood dream of hearing his name called at the Major League Baseball Draft came true on Tuesday afternoon, when the Baltimore Orioles used their first pick in the fifth round (No. 138 overall) of the 2019 MLB Draft to select him.

Hernaiz, 17, becomes the fourth player out of Americas High School to be drafted in the MLB Draft since 2010 under head coach Jesse Munoz.

“I’ve been working for this moment since I was five years old,” said Hernaiz shortly after talking with Baltimore’s front office. “I just worked so hard to get to this day and then to get drafted by such a great organization like the Orioles, it’s an amazing feeling.”

The 6-foot-1 shortstop worked out for the Texas Rangers, Houston Astros, Los Angeles Dodgers, San Diego Padres, Chicago Cubs, Seattle Mariners, and the Orioles during the pre-draft process. Hernaiz did not receive a call until after he was selected, making the moment all the more special.

“I knew they [Orioles] were interested, but I didn’t know how interested,” said Hernaiz. “I had no idea, so I was pretty surprised.”

Hernaiz hit .404 his senior season at Americas with seven home runs and six doubles. The power hitter also drew 30 walks.

Now it is decision time for Hernaiz, who is undecided if he will sign with Baltimore or play Division 1 college baseball. He is signed to play at Texas Tech, but also knows it is important for him to get his professional career started.

The estimated slot value at pick No. 138 is $402,000.

“Texas Tech is a good program,” said Hernaiz. “Who wouldn’t want to go to the College World Series and win a national championship. I value that, but at the same time, you want to get your professional career started and build your way up. The ultimate goal is the big leagues. I have to weigh my options and see what’s better for me.”

Hernaiz has two weeks to sign with the Baltimore. If he chooses to hold out for more money or Orioles offer him less than the slot value, he has the option to head to Lubbock to play for the Red Raiders. He would then be eligible next for the 2022 MLB Draft.

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