Braves Trade Drew Waters, Andrew Hoffmann To Royals For No. 35 Pick
The Braves and Royals agreed to a trade on Monday that will send the Royals’ competitive balance round pick, the 35th overall selection, to the Braves in exchange for three prospects, highlighted by outfielder Drew Waters.
Drew Waters, OF
A once highly regarded prospect, Waters ranked among the Braves top 10 prospects for five consecutive seasons, reaching as high as second overall in 2020. Waters is a former Top 100 prospect as well, holding a spot on the list for three consecutive seasons. Waters impressed in 2019 in Double-A but has struggled since, hitting .248/.325/.388 over 181 Triple-A games. A switch-hitter with the ability to handle center field, there’s no denying Waters' tools, but his ability to hit and hit for impact remain major question marks. He should factor into the outfield picture almost immediately in Kansas City, where his versatility and upside will be valued.
Andrew Hoffmann, RHP
A breakout pitcher for the Braves this spring, Hoffmann was set to make a significant jump on the upcoming Braves midseason list. On the back of a plus slider considered by some to be the best breaking ball in the Braves organization, Hoffmann has found success leaning into a slider-first plan of attack. Hoffmann has thrown sliders 41% of the time this season compared to 37% usage across both of his fastball variations—he throws a four-seam and two-seam. His slider is a low-to-mid-80s sweeper, sitting 82-84 mph with over a foot of sweep. It’s his primary bat-misser with over a 40% whiff rate this season. His fastball velocity sits 92-94 mph, touching 96 mph at peak on both his four-seam and two-seam. Neither does much in the way of inducing whiffs, but each drives ground balls at a 50% or better rate. Hoffmann also mixes in a changeup but it’s a fringe-average pitch he gets into the zone enough to be effective. Hoffmann has a standout plus pitch and has ridden that to strong results. He may end up in a relief role long term, where his slider and two fastball variations could play up.
C.J. Alexander, 3B
Alexander, who’s spent the last two seasons at Double-A Mississippi, has platoon bat upside with contact and power skills. He is hitting .293/.324/.529 with 13 home runs in 208 at-bats against righthanded pitching this season. He’s played third base primarily as a professional but has also seen limited action at first base over the last few seasons. Alexander is an aggressive hitter who rarely walks, as he would rather put the ball in play and try to do damage with his power.
2022 Braves Top 10 Prospects Podcast
Carlos Collazo and Kyle Glaser break down the Braves farm system.
2022 No. 35 pick.
With this swap the Braves add the slot money allotted to Kansas City for this pick, as Atlanta will tack on an additional $2,202,100 to its bonus pool. The transaction moves Atlanta from 22nd to 10th in total pool money. In a system lacking headliners, the Braves now have three picks inside the top 60 in the upcoming draft. With the substantial increase in pool money, they could potentially draw players into selections at any of their picks at 20, 35 and 57.