EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – When he was drafted out of 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 middle infielder – who will turn 21 on Aug. 3 – is steadily climbing the Orioles; farm system.

Originally signed with Texas Tech out of high school, Hernaiz instead inked 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 for the Orioles, located in Salisbury, MD.

Hernaiz is off to a red-hot start to 2022, hitting .350 with four home runs and 13 RBI in just 10 games so far. He went nuts on Wednesday night, hitting a pair of home runs in a Delmarva loss to the Myrtle Beach Pelicans.

Hernaiz’ hot start is more in line with what he did for Americas. As a senior in 2019, Hernaiz hit over .400 with seven home runs. It’s taken him some time to find his footing in the minor league ranks, though.

In Rookie ball in 2019, Hernaiz hit .263 with two home runs and 17 RBI in 29 games. The 2020 minor league season was lost to the COVID-19 pandemic, so when Hernaiz next got on the field in 2021 for Delmarva, it was slow going. He hit .277 with only six home runs and 52 RBI in 2021, but has turned it around at the plate thus far in 2022.

Hernaiz is projected to be either a shortstop or second baseman at the MLB level and has split time at both positions this spring. If there’s a place he could improve, it’s there. He’s played six games at shortstop and four at second base, committing a total of seven errors already. However, his bat is making up for it at the moment.

Hernaiz is just 20 years old but he’s highly thought of in the Orioles organization and has appeared on the club’s list of Top-30 prospects at times during his short career.

If he continues the tear he’s on, Hernaiz could be in Double A or much higher very soon.