Checking in on former Braves top prospect Drew Waters

MLB: SEP 18 Guardians at Royals

In July of 2022, the Braves made a somewhat shocking move, sending one of their top prospects, Drew Waters, to the Kansas City Royals for the 35th pick in the MLB draft.

With the Braves, Waters became a consensus top 100 prospect, and some outlets had him well inside of the top 50. There was a point in time when the dream was a Waters/Acuña/Pache outfield, which many believed could be the best in baseball for years to come. Fast forward, and Acuña was the only one to make it with the Braves. Pache was dealt to the Athletics in the trade that landed Matt Olson, and Waters to the Royals for the 35th pick, which turned into JR Ritchie.

Who knows what Ritchie will pan out to be, as he’s still 20 years old and recovering from Tommy John surgery, but what about Waters?

Since the trade, Waters has bounced around from the MLB level to AAA. He started his career in Kansas City on fire in 2022, recording an .803 OPS in 32 games, but that success faded the following year. He played 98 games for the Royals last season and only recorded a .677 OPS, which is why Waters has begun this year in AAA, where he’s off to a red-hot start. Through 11 games,  he’s hitting .326 with six extra-base hits, including one home run, and a .931 OPS.

At 25 years old, it’s a bit of a make-it-or-break-it year for Drew Waters. The Royals are an up-and-coming baseball team that is going to be looking for mainstay pieces moving forward. Waters can either become one, or he’ll have to patiently wait for his opportunity and potentially fall into the category of a AAAA player, someone who’s too good for AAA but not quite good enough to carve out a permanent role for himself at the major-league level.

Photo: Keith Gillett/Icon Sportswire


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