Waters has flown through the Braves minor league system since being drafted by Atlanta in the second round of the 2017 draft. The twenty-two year old high school product rose all the way up to Triple A by 2019. In twenty-six games with the Gwinnett Stripers the Georgia native went .271/.336/.374 at the plate, which brought his minor league career slash line to .298/.354/.461. It’s promising to note that Waters’ numbers at the plate have improved every season in the minors. In 2017 his stat line read .278/.362/.429 across two leagues. In 2018 it was .293/.343/.476 and in 2019 he hit .309/.360/.459. The lack of a season in 2020 didn’t help his development though. As noted by Baseball Prospectus, he hasn’t really been challenged yet in the minors and 2020 would have been a good opportunity for the Etowah High School alum to work against higher level pitchers. Even so, the switch hitter worked on his approach at the Braves alternate site during the pandemic season, specifically his plate discipline and his right handed swing. Fortunately for Atlanta, the Braves have time to wait and see how much their number three prospect was able to grow last year. With Crisitan Pache and Ronald Acuna Jr. already roaming the outfield, there’s no need to rush Waters up. That doesn’t mean they’re going keep him on the farm for long though. Baseball America predicts Waters will be a regular in the Braves outfield while Baseball Prospectus much more boldly compares him to Cristian Pache and Fernando Tatis Jr. should he continue on his current development track.
The projections for Andrew David Waters should provide his collectors with plenty of reasons to feel good about the young outfielder. Curiously though, the market for his 2017 Bowman Draft autograph card appears to be lukewarm. Sales of Waters first Bowman Chrome autograph card never topped more than twenty in one month during the offseason and sales have stayed mostly flat around the current $69.57 average value. The lack of interest may possibly be due to two large factors: Cristian Pache and Ronald Acuna Jr. While Braves fans are certainly optimistic about their team’s star studded outfield, collectors have to decide how to split their funds between the three. For now, Waters is simply the odd man out. There is no reason that can’t change though. It’ll be hard for Waters to surpass Acuna but Pache’s value is mostly in his defense while Waters is more accomplished at the plate. Traditionally collectors are higher on players that can produce higher fantasy numbers which gives the potential edge to Waters. If Waters minor league performance is able to translate to the majors, it won’t take long for collectors to notice. With spring training right around the corner now, I don’t think Drew Waters’ first Bowman Chrome auto will stay at it’s current value much longer. Right now would be a good time to add him to your collection.