It was only batting practice, but Elijah Green made a statement in the batter’s box Friday at Nationals Park. The No. 5 overall pick of the 2022 MLB Draft visited the ballpark for the first time since being drafted, meeting players and coaches in the clubhouse before joining them on the field for a BP session ahead of their game against the St. Louis Cardinals.
Even with Juan Soto and Josh Bell taking swings in the group before him, Green put on a show with a series of powerful swings and loud sounds. The scoreboard displayed Statcast numbers more aligned with that of major-league power hitters than a prospect only 18 years old. His final swing registered a 113 mph exit velocity on a 413-foot home run to left field.
“It’s unreal because you don’t get to play on a major-league field every day as an 18-year-old,” Green said to reporters in the dugout after batting practice. “So I just feel like my skills, I’ve been working on it all year — the past few years now. But just showing that it paid off, like home runs 10 rows up, I love it.”
Listed by the Nationals at 6-foot-4, 225 pounds, Green will report to the Nationals’ spring training complex in West Palm Beach, on Monday. Manager Davey Martinez said in his pregame press conference that he hoped Green’s D.C. visit would “get him motivated” to get to work down in Florida.
Green, not lacking any confidence, has similar expectations for himself. He plans to reach the big leagues within two to three years.
“I just feel like it’s the quickest I can fully develop and mature throughout the process,” Green said.