Brian Snitker comments on Drew Waters trade


The Braves recently made a rather surprising trade, sending Drew Waters, Andrew Hoffmann and CJ Alexander to the Royals for the 35th pick in Sunday’s MLB Draft. The shocking part was the departure of Drew Waters, who was considered by many to be the organization’s top prospect, even though he struggled to find success at the AAA level. He is still only 23 years old and the tools are still very flashy. However, when you dig a little deeper, the trade makes perfect sense.

The Braves’ current roster is loaded, and the outfield is crowded with several players who still have years of control over their contracts. It was going to be extremely difficult for Waters to carve out a role for himself, and the longer the Braves held him, the more his value would drop.

Atlanta must also desperately rebuild its agricultural system, which was recently ranked dead last by FanGraphs after the degrees of Michael Harris and Spencer Strider. They’ve had a lot of success in recent years with their Comp A selections in the MLB Draft. Most notably, Austin Riley was the Comp A pick of the 2015 MLB Draft (41st overall). So the hope is that the Braves can select someone of a similar caliber who can contribute later down the line when the Braves are in greater need.

Drew Waters’ story as the Brave should serve as a cautionary tale. As talented as he was and as highly rated as he became after his brilliant 2019 season, no prospect is a sure thing. Most of them eventually die out before they make a significant impact at the major league level. However, Waters still has a chance to make his big league dream a reality with an organization that is at least two years away from competition, and Braves manager Brian Snitker seems to believe he has the tools for the job. do at the highest level. .

“I think it could be really good for him,” Snitker said, via The Athletic’s Alex Lewis. “The situation he’s in, they’re sort of rebuilding, so to speak. And I think that’s probably very good for him. He’s a talented guy. I hope a change of scenery, maybe new voices, things like that, will help it get started. Because I will surely support him. I really like the person and the skill set and everything. Often, this stuff, you never know. Maybe look back and be the best thing that ever happened to him.

A change of scenery can sometimes do wonders for a player, especially one who has been drafted by their hometown organization. I can’t imagine the kind of pressure that comes with that, and maybe we see a different Drew Waters with Kansas City. The biggest issue plaguing him right now is his withdrawal rate, which is around 30% and hasn’t gone down in years. If he can fix that, Waters will be a great big-league outfielder, but that’s easier said than done.

Photo: David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire

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