Nationals prospect stretchered off field after flipping over fence in attempt to rob home run


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There was a scary moment in the Grapefruit League Saturday when a player had to be carted off the field after he tried to rob a home run.

In Fort Myers, the Boston Red Sox were hosting the Washington Nationals in spring training action, and Daylen Lile was making his first appearance of the spring.

Lile was playing right field for the Nationals when Tyler Miller crushed a fly ball toward the right-center field gap at JetBlue Park at Fenway South in Fort Myers.

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Daylen Lile in dugout

Daylen Lile of the Washington Nationals in the dugout during a spring training game against the Detroit Tigers at Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium March 8, 2023, in Lakeland, Fla. (Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

Miller’s blast cleared the wall, but not without a valiant effort by Lile to record an out. The 21-year-old leaped to try to rob Miller of a solo shot, but he flipped over the wall instead.

Lile looked like Torii Hunter during David Ortiz’s famous game-tying grand slam in Game 2 of the 2013 ALCS. The spring training park is a replica of Fenway, and the low outfield wall in right tends to do that to outfielders who try to rob homers.

However, the situation quickly became serious when Red Sox relievers in the bullpen almost immediately called on medical personnel.

Through a crack in the outfield wall that opens up, Lile could be seen rolling around in the bullpen.

The game was delayed several minutes, and Lile was placed on a stretcher with a neck brace on the warning track.

After the game, Nats manager Dave Martinez said Lile was transported to a hospital for a CT scan of his lower back and had movement in his arms and legs. Lile gave a thumbs-up to the crowd while leaving the field.

JetBlue Park

A Grapefruit League game between the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox March 12, 2023, at JetBlue Park at Fenway South in Fort Myers, Fla. (Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

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“When you see someone go over the wall like that, and you don’t see them get up, then everyone in the bullpen started calling like that, you think, ‘Oh no,’” said Martinez. “You just hope he didn’t hit his head, his neck. All these things go through your mind.”

Lile was drafted by the Nats in the second round of the 2021 MLB Draft, playing 19 games of rookie ball that year. He missed the entire 2022 season while recovering from Tommy John surgery and split last year between low- and high-A ball.

RED SOX spring training site

A Boston Red Sox spring training team workout Feb. 17, 2024, at JetBlue Park at Fenway South in Fort Myers, Fla. (Billie WeissGetty Images)

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He hit .291 with an .891 OPS in 66 low-A games, but struggled to adjust at the next level. In 40 high-A games, he slashed .234/.310/.357.

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