EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – After getting traded to the Oakland Athletics organization in the offseason, former Americas standout Darell Hernaiz will open the 2023 Minor League Baseball season close to home.

An intriguing prospect at either shortstop or second base, Hernaiz will play the 2023 campaign with the Midland RockHounds, the A’s Double-A affiliate located in Midland, Texas, just four hours from his hometown of El Paso.

Rated as Oakland’s 17th-best prospect, the 21-year-old Hernaiz was traded from the Baltimore Orioles organization to the Oakland Athletics organization in January, in exchange for pitchers Cole Irvin and Kyle Virbitsky.

Hernaiz’s hope will be that he doesn’t spend much time in Midland on his way to the Big Leagues.  Hernaiz hit .273 with 12 home runs and 62 RBI in 2022, playing in Class A, High A and Double-A in Baltimore’s organization.

He played just 13 games in Double-A in 2022, so his stay in Midland might be considerable, depending on how he adjusts to playing at that level.

Hernaiz can play both shortstop and second base and his versatility defensively, as well as his bat make him an intriguing prospect for a rebuilding Oakland team. It’s very possible that he could rise quickly up the A’s Minor League system if he plays well in 2023.

If Hernaiz makes his way to Triple-A, Oakland’s Triple-A affiliate is the Las Vegas Aviators, which are in the Pacific Coast League with the El Paso Chihuahuas.

Drafted in the fifth round (138th overall) of the 2019 MLB Draft, Hernaiz elected to sign with the Orioles out of high school, rather than attend Texas Tech, where he had signed to play for the Red Raiders.

The RockHounds open the 2023 season April 6 on the road with a three-game series at Northwest Arkansas. Their first homestand will be April 11-16 vs. Tulsa in the Permian Basin.