Of all the trades the Braves made this season, perhaps the most shocking was the decision to send Drew Waters and Andrew Hoffman to the Royals for the 35th pick in this year’s draft. At the time, Waters was among Atlanta’s top-ranked prospects, even if he was scuffling in AAA. The Braves were also in need of a long-term solution in left field.
Adam Duvall is a free agent following this season. He’s unlikely to be re-signed, and Eddie Rosario and Marcell Ozuna have provided next to nothing offensively or defensively. A path for Waters to become a starter in Atlanta wasn’t too difficult to imagine, but the Braves must have felt he was unlikely to produce at the top level and sold him for as much as they could prior to the MLB draft.
Well, you know what they say — one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. The saying rings all too true when it comes to baseball. Waters was hitting just .246 with the five homers for the Gwinnett Stripers before the trade, but he caught fire for Omaha — Kansas City’s AAA affiliate. In 31 games since the trade, he hit .295 with seven homers, good for a .940 OPS and enough to warrant a promotion to the Royals, where he hit his first big-league home run yesterday.
First Major League HR for Drew Waters!
Touch em all! pic.twitter.com/LSrveqVPLi
— Starting 9 (@Starting9) September 6, 2022
Which also led to Waters winning a bet against Zack Greinke.
In 13 games since joining the Royals, Drew Waters is hitting .237 with that lone homer and a .720 OPS. Not a shabby start for the former second-round pick.
Like most former Braves prospects, I’ll be rooting for Waters from afar. Although, I’m going to be salty if he turns into a high-quality major-league piece before long. Even after a sluggish couple of seasons, I thought he had a bright future in Atlanta. Having Acuña, Harris, and Waters locked in for the foreseeable future would have been a dream.
Photo: David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire
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