Why Hernaiz feels '100 percent ready' for the big leagues

January 16th, 2024

This story was excerpted from Martín Gallegos’ A’s Beat newsletter. To read the full newsletter, click here. And subscribe to get it regularly in your inbox.

Darell Hernaiz projects to make an impact with the A’s at some point during the 2024 campaign. In his mind, there is no reason why that can’t happen from Day 1.

Hernaiz, rated Oakland’s No. 9 prospect by MLB Pipeline, accelerated his track to the Majors last year with a hot start at Double-A Midland that earned him a promotion to Triple-A Las Vegas by July. Overall, the shortstop, combined for a slash line of .321/.386/.456 with nine home runs, 32 doubles, 71 RBIs and 13 stolen bases in 131 games between the two levels.

The standout performance by Hernaiz was enough for the A’s to add him to their 40-man roster this offseason, which means he will be taking part in his first big league Spring Training next month in Arizona, where he will compete with Nick Allen and several other infielders. Hernaiz discussed that and more in a recent interview with MLB Network Radio.

Here are some of the highlights:

Hernaiz on his 2023 season

“I feel like what I did pretty well was put the ball in play and let my bat-to-ball skills play to have a high average. What I want to improve [on] is I believe I have a little more power than what I showed. I tried to force it a little bit too much instead of letting it come to me. I believe I have more in there, for sure. I didn’t steal as much this year as I did the years before. I know I can steal a lot more than 13 bags. I’m working on that and hoping to showcase that on the big league level.”

Hernaiz on his first big league camp

“I know I’m going into camp with the mindset of winning a job. I want to play shortstop, but if they want me to play third base or second base, that’s fine with me. But I’m going in there with the mindset to play shortstop and prove that I can do everything and be their Opening Day guy. I’ll let the rest take care of itself and control what I can control. I believe I’m 100 percent ready. I’m very confident in the work I put in every day. I’ve worked for it my whole life, so I’m ready and I’m confident.”

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