Drew Waters’ ridiculous 2019 campaign is rightfully receiving the respect it deserves when it comes to awards. Today, he was named the Southern League MVP for his performance in AA Mississippi this year. The 20-year-old switch-hitting prospect was eventually promoted to Gwinnett in early August, but he still leads the Southern League in batting average, hits, doubles, triples, and extra-base hits. Since the promotion, Waters hasn’t slowed down either, hitting .302 with a .365 OBP for the Stripers. He has 150 hits and 55 extra-base knocks in just 129 minor league games this year.
On the award, Waters said via the Mississippi Braves official website, “First and foremost, I am humbled to have received this award. The Southern League has such a great history of incredible players and to now be amongst those that have won the MVP is a tremendous honor. Second, to be the first Mississippi Brave to do it is something I cannot describe. Wearing the same uniform as Brian McCann, Jeff Francoeur, Jason Heyward, and Freddie Freeman – guys I grew up watching as an Atlanta kid – and now knowing that I am the first M-Brave to win MVP is surreal to me. I hope this is a stepping stone to joining all of those guys in their paths to Atlanta. I will work harder than ever to make that happen.”
Waters was selected out of Etowah high school in the second-round back in 2017. When we talked to him earlier in the season, he said he wasn’t expecting to be selected by the Braves, but you can tell the hometown kid cherishes the organizations’ rich history, and now he’s the first Mississippi Brave to be honored as the Southern League MVP.
We currently have Waters ranked as the #3 prospect in the Braves organization, but after his inhuman 2019, he could begin 2020 as the top prospect on the farm. He’s a line-drive machine that plays from gap-to-gap, and once he starts filling out, many of those doubles and triples are going to turn into effortless home runs. We won’t see Waters in Atlanta this season, but he will have the opportunity to make the roster in spring training next season.