Braves: Drew Waters shows no rust in 2022 debut

DGO1807050859 Brewers vs Braves

Following the 2019 season, you could make the argument Drew Waters was the hottest prospect in the Braves organization. He won the MVP of the Southern League at just 20-years-old, thanks to his .319 batting average and 49 extra-base hits in only 108 games, and was promoted to Gwinnett at the end of the season, where he didn’t look out of place.

However, a missed season because of COVID in 2020 that was followed by his worst season in the minors in 2021 has halted the hype tremendously and even has people wondering where he fits in the Braves’ future plans. I understand the concerns; his strikeout rate must come down, and he must learn to take his walks, but I’m still bullish on Waters being a major-league piece sooner rather than later. One lackluster season at a new level at 22-years-old doesn’t mean he won’t end up realizing the potential everybody saw in him just a couple of years ago. This guy can rake, and I’m expecting him to bounce back in a big way in 2022, which began yesterday in Rome.

Waters started the season on the IL but returned in style, smacking two hits — one of which was a double — in three at-bats.

Obviously, hitting in High-A Rome is much different than hitting in Gwinnett or Atlanta, but it’s nice to see him back out there and having success. Soon, he will be recalled to AAA, and who knows; I wouldn’t be shocked at all to see Waters with the Braves at some point this season, especially if injury strikes.

Photo: Larry Radloff/Icon Sportswire

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