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Washington Nationals’ prospect countdown: No. 17 - Daylen Lile

In his first pro season, the 2021 second-round pick flashed his potential in the Florida Complex League …

Syndication: The Courier-Journal Pat McDonogh / Courier Journal via Imagn Content Services, LLC

[ed. note - “With interest in the Washington Nationals’ farm system at a high level, Federal Baseball has begun a series featuring the top 30 prospects in the system as of late last season, according to Baseball America. We will start with No. 30 and work our way to the top over the next few weeks, with one prospect highlighted each weekday.”]

WASHINGTON – The Nationals feel they have a good one in Daylen Lile, a 2021 second-round pick out of his Louisville high school earlier this year.

“He has a chance to impact every play with his speed,” Jeff Garber, a long-time instructor for Washington, told Federal Baseball in September.

Lile, who turns 19 on November 30, hit .233 in 43 at-bats in the Florida Complex League team.

His manager was Richmond native Jake Lowery, who like Garber is a former player at James Madison University in Virginia.

“Daylen is a very good outfielder,” said Garber, an infielder at JMU and a former player and manager in the farm system of the Kansas City Royals.

“He has been DHing since he had a sore arm early on. He is a very exciting player; to me, he is an impact player,” Garber added back in September.

Lile went to Trinity High and is a native of Louisville.

After he signed with the Nationals, he had a picture taken with his family in front of the World Series trophy that Washington won in 2019.

The Nationals are making a lot of changes in player development for next season and building for the future.

Lile is part of that future, and if things go very well – and the Nationals open up the pocketbook – he could one day be in the same outfield with Juan Soto at Nationals Park.

But that is several years in the making, as Lile still needs to advance to perhaps low Single-A Fredericksburg in 2022.

“Daylen Lile, we all saw him as the best high school hitter in this draft,” Assistant GM and VP of Scouting Ops Kris Kline of the Nationals said when the team drafted him.

“2021 Gatorade Player of the Year in the state of Kentucky, and he was the National Player of the Year this year.”

“Other tools are average. He’s going to play left field, but it’s all about the bat with this kid,” Kline added, “... it’s advanced, it’s polished. It’s a tidy, nice, quick little stroke, short, fast, he’s got power, and exceptional feel to hit.”

Previous: No. 18 - Riley Adams; Next: No. 16 - RHP Aldo Ramirez