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Washington Nationals’ prospect Daylen Lile shines in Grapefruit League action…

Daylen Lile, a 2021 Draft pick, got an opportunity to play on Wednesday, and took advantage of it…

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

“We all saw him as the best high school hitter in this draft,” Nationals’ Assistant GM and VP of Scouting Operations Kris Kline told reporters after Washington selected high school outfielder Daylen Lile in the 2nd Round of the 2021 Draft out of Trinity HS in Louisville, Kentucky.

“2021 Gatorade Player of the Year in the state of Kentucky, and he was the National Player of the Year this year,” Kline continued in offering a scouting report on the left-handed hitting, now-20-year-old prospect.

“Other tools are average. He’s going to play left field, but it’s all about the bat with this kid. It’s advanced, it’s polished. [Assistant Director of Amateur Scouting] Mark [Baca] would describe it as, ‘tidy.’ It’s a tidy, nice, quick little stroke, short, fast, he’s got power, and exceptional feel to hit.”

“I think when we first walked in the ballpark — you get BP, right, so just standing there watching his swing, if you just look at the foundation of the swing, I said, ‘Wow,’” Baca added of his first impressions of Lyle when he watched him play in the lead-up to the ‘21 Draft. “‘If he takes it to the game I can’t wait to see the electricity that comes through this guy’s bat.’ And it didn’t take long. Probably the first swing he took in the game and you knew you were on to something really special with this one, so — and we got a chance to see him obviously, but for me, when you look at the bat, the mechanics of the bat, and bat speed, the leverage he has, the potential power he has, it didn’t take long. It was a really, really short, no space, compact, really good swing, so one of the better swings that I’ve sen here in a while and this year for sure. Just a tremendous swing, and a kid that you knew was going to hit.”

Lyle played 19 games in the Nats’ system in 2021, but then he suffered a torn UCL and had Tommy John surgery which cost him all of the 2022 campaign. Back in action this spring, Lile, ranked 16th in the organization by MLB’s Pipeline scouts, told’s Paige Leckie he was excited to be back at it in West Palm Beach, FL this year.

“I’m glad to be back out here, especially [after] missing a whole season,” Lile said last week.

“I mean, [it was] devastating,” he added of the injury and recovery time. “But it helped me work on the right body parts to be able to come back out here and have a healthy season.”

Given an opportunity to play in Grapefruit League action on Wednesday afternoon, when Victor Robles bruised his left knee running into [a pipe behind?] the outfield wall in Lakeland, FL’s Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium, Lile made the most of his shot, with a 3 for 4 day at the plate, a stolen base, and diving play in the outfield, all of which got the attention of the Nats’ manager.

“Awesome, man. Awesome,” Martinez said, as quoted by MASN’s Bobby Blanco when asked about Lile’s big game. “Kid gets a chance to play and shows all his tools. Played some good defense, got some base hits, stole a base, ran the bases well. So he did a great job.”

Unfortunately, the opportunity came with the injury to Robles, though the news on the center fielder was not too bad, though it didn’t sound great either.

“He hit a pipe behind the wall, he’ll probably be day-to-day,” Martinez said, again, as quoted on MASN.

“Everything else is good. When he ran into the wall, there’s a pipe behind the wall and he hit it with his knee. So he’s got a bruise on top of his kneecap. Everything else checked out fine. So it’s just a contusion.”