Daylen Lile does 300 ghost swings with PowerHandz weighted gloves each day he does upper body workouts. He started this routine in eighth grade to increase his bat speed and build strength in his forearms.
The extra work to refine his swing has paid dividends. Last summer, Lile excelled on the showcase circuit against high-end pitchers with premium velocity.
Professional scouts noticed Lile’s success, as they scouted Lile in preparation for the 2021 MLB draft. Lile, a senior at Trinity High School in Louisville, is one of the best pure hitters in the high school class and a projected first-round pick in July’s draft.
“It is crazy,” Lile said. “It is a dream come true for sure. The draft process is really crazy because all the teams are looking at me, interested in me, and texting me. It has been a good process. I can’t complain at all. The job isn’t done. I just have to keep working hard and progressing every day.”
Lile is a 6-foot-1, 195-pound left-handed hitter who has a mature approach at the plate. He has a quiet set up and uses a quick and compact swing that allows him to drive the ball to all fields. He has displayed solid plate discipline and thrived against premium high school pitching.
Lile is more of a gap-to-gap hitter currently but should add more power as he matures. Lile also is a solid athlete and displays his speed and athleticism in all facets of the game.
“I feel like I have a lot of strengths when it comes to the game of baseball,” Lile said. “But the one that stands out is my hitting for sure. I have put a lot of work into that, and I take in pride in what I do with my hitting ability.”
The one skill holding Lile back from being a five-tool player is his arm strength. He has below-average arm strength and currently profiles as a future left fielder. Lile is comfortable playing all three outfield positions and hopes to remain at his current center field position long-term.
He is dedicating significant time this offseason to strengthening his arm.
“I want to improve on my arm strength,” Lile said. “That is getting better every day. Just long tossing, doing weighted balls, and throwing two or three times a week has helped it come along. That is what I want to focus on in the offseason so I can show people that I have the arm from the outfield and that I am a five-tool player.”
Besides being a draft prospect, Lile also is a Louisville commit. He initially committed to Indiana at the beginning of his freshman year but decommitted after then-head coach Chris Lemonis left Indiana for the same position at Mississippi State.
Lile then committed to Louisville due to the program’s coaching staff, history developing talent for pro ball, and proximity to his home. Lile grew up about 10 minutes from Louisville’s campus, he said.
“Indiana came along and made a good offer that I couldn’t pass up on,” Lile said. “I decommitted at the end of my freshman year. U of L came along and talked to me for a while. I have known the coach since I was little because his son and I play travel ball against each other. It just felt like a good fit.”
Dan Zielinski III has covered the MLB draft for six years. He’s interviewed 253 of the top draft prospects in that period, including three No. 1 overall picks. Multiple publications, including Baseball America, USA Today, MLB.com and The Arizona Republic, have quoted his work, while he’s appeared on radio stations as a “MLB draft expert.” Follow him on Twitter @DanZielinski3.