Texas drafted Ornelas from an Arizona high school in 2018’s third round, signing him at slot for just under $623K. He torched the AZL this summer playing close to home, slashing .302/.389/.459 and stealing 15 bases. I saw the well-rounded infielder play four games this fall during Instructional League.
Ornelas profile is lead by a future plus hit tool. He stays back and lets the ball travel deep, getting his hands to the ball directly and spraying line drives around the field. Strong hand-eye coordination shows in his ability to find the barrel on pitches away, and he has enough strength and batspeed to do damage away from his body. He should get to fully average raw power as his frame fills out, with the high-contact swing and hitterish instincts to get to every bit of it in games. An instinctual player, Ornelas gets the most of fringe-average footspeed and average lateral quickness with ability to take an extra base or swipe the occasional bag. He plays all over the infield now, but projects better defensively at 2B or 3B than a true SS. With an average arm, he’s likely more of a fit at the keystone, though there’s enough playmaking ability to fit in on the left side of the infield when needed. His overall instincts lend themselves well to picking up a new position if need be.
Ornelas’ hit and power combination gives the ceiling of an everyday regular. He isn’t plus at any one position, but his solid defensive tools give a lot of versatility and ways to get in the lineup.