Braves: What does Drew Waters’ future look like in the organization?

Braves Drew Waters

Previous Prospect Outlooks:

Two years ago, Drew Waters was looked at as one of the hottest prospects in all of baseball. He took home the Southern League MVP award at just 20-years-old after hitting .319 with 49 extra base hits for the Mississippi Braves. The Woodstock native was viewed as an athletic five-tool prospect that would eventually grow into his body, resulting in more power. Waters was exceeding all expectations, even for a highly-touted second-round pick, but the hype has come to a screeching halt since then.

In fairness to Waters, it isn’t all his fault. No minor league games were played in 2020, which caused him to miss an entire year of development. Who knows how much that affected each player, but I think we will see many prospects bounce back from down years in 2021 as they continue to get their feet under them. Regardless, the issues Waters was able to mask in AA became a lot more apparent with his promotion to AAA.

Waters has always been a free swinger, resulting in many strikeouts and a low walk rate. Because of his natural ability with the stick, it didn’t affect his bottom line in Mississippi. That wasn’t the case with the Stripers, as he managed to hit just .240 with a .711 OPS, striking out 142 times in just 103 games. If there is a silver lining, Waters did show an increased willingness to take free passes, but still, his high K-rate has many scouts feeling much more bearish on Waters than ever before, and it’s also caused many to re-think his standing within the Braves organization.

Atlanta’s seen many of their top prospects graduate in recent years, but if there are two areas in which they remain very strong, they are in the outfield and on the mound. Michael Harris is the fastest rising prospect in the organization; Jesse Franklin is another name to keep an eye out for at the lower levels, and of course, Cristian Pache is still highly regarded among many prospect circles. Trey Harris and Greyson Jenista are also a couple of prospects that could eventually contribute at the major league level. With Ronald Acuña and Marcell Ozuna locked up for the foreseeable future, some of these players will have to be moved, assuming they don’t flame out.

Like most people, I expect the Braves to be involved in the trade market once the lockout ends. We’ve seen them show interest in the Pirates Bryan Reynolds before, and I also believe they could make a move for another frontline starter. Naturally, Waters will be a popular starting point in potential negotiations, and I wouldn’t be opposed to moving him in a win-now move. With that being said, any low-ball offers cannot be accepted.

This is still a 22-year-old with loads of potential. Despite his struggles in Gwinnett, he was very young for the AAA level. I have little doubt that he will make substantial strides in his second season with the Stripers. Waters has done nothing but rake at every level up to this point, and I expect his 2022 numbers to look much more like they did in Mississippi.

2 thoughts on “Braves: What does Drew Waters’ future look like in the organization?”

  1. Pingback: Braves: What Does Drew Waters' Future Look Like In The Organization? - ATL Blaze Radio

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