After taking a high school player with their first pick in the draft, the Washington Nationals also went the prep route with their second selection. By drafting Daylen Lile, an outfielder from Trinity High School in Kentucky, the Nationals got a player highly regarded at such a young age.
Hitting from the left side of the plate, Lile has been called the best high school hitter in the draft. A pure-hitter, who hits to all fields, Lile is committed to Louisville and might require over the slot money to pry him away.
Nationals second round pick Daylen Lile is getting some lofty praise out of the gate.
While looking at Lile’s high school numbers, he shows he can handle the bat.. He hit over .500 as a senior and showed decent power. High school numbers need to be taken with a grain a salt, though those in the industry say Lile performed well when matched against the best pitchers in his high school class.
What is most compelling about Lile as a hitter, is who his MLB comparison is. Michael Brantley. For those of you who have been hiding under a rock and don’t know who Brantley is, he’s one of the purest hitters in baseball. A .300 career hitter who is stroking it at a .326 clip this year. He’s a gap to gap hitter who puts the ball in play and finds holes in the defense. A professional hitter.
Obviously, comparisons are hard to make, expectations are hard to meet, and scouts aren’t going to make MLB comps to scrubs. However, Brantley is a 13 year veteran who has a smooth cut at the plate. The same things have been said about Lile.
From Vice president of scouting operations Kris Kline:
"We all saw him as the best high school hitter in this draft. … He’s going to play left field, but it’s all about the bat with this kid. It’s advanced, it’s polished. Mark would describe it as tidy – it’s a tidy, nice, quick little stroke. Short, fast. He’s got power."
The former Kentucky Baseball Player of the Year and 2021 Rawlings National High School player of the year, Lile also has a good eye at the plate as evidenced by his 35/7 BB/K rate this season.
First things, first, the Nationals need to sign Lile. One he is in the system and can refine an already polished swing, he’ll be fun to watch for a long time.