Drew Waters

Drew Waters

23-Year-Old OutfielderOF
Kansas City Royals
2023 Fantasy Outlook
Atlanta dealt Waters to Kansas City for the 35th-overall pick in the 2022 draft and two low-probability prospects. At the time of the mid-July trade, Waters' stock had slipped so much that many prospectors thought the Royals overpaid. Prior to the trade, the 23-year-old switch hitter had an 83 wRC+ in 49 games at Triple-A after registering a 94 wRC+ in 103 games at that level in 2021. Something clicked after the change of scenery, as Waters hit .295/.399/.541 with seven home runs and 13 steals in 31 games for the Royals' Triple-A affiliate while almost doubling his walk rate (14.0 BB%, up from 7.6%). He got a well-deserved promotion to the majors in late-August and hit .240/.324/.479 with five home runs, an 11.0 BB% and a 36.7 K% in 109 plate appearances while playing all three outfield spots. There is no projection or expected statistic that supports that level of play for Waters heading into 2023, but the Royals' depth chart portends that he will get plenty of work. His combination of power, speed and opportunity makes him a worthwhile consideration in deeper formats. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
$Traded to the Royals in July of 2022.
Drives in four runs
OFKansas City Royals
October 3, 2022
Waters went 2-for-4 with a home run and four RBI in Monday's 5-2 win over Cleveland.
ANALYSIS
Waters opened the game's scoring with an RBI single in the second inning before belting the go-ahead, three-run shot in the 10th. The rookie outfielder has gotten hot down the stretch; he's gone deep four times while hitting .394 (13-for-33) over his last 10 games. Waters is slashing .261/.350/.523 through 30 games and is making a good impression for the 2023 campaign.
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Batting Stats
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2022
2020
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Batting Order Slot Breakdown
vs Right-Handed Pitchers
vs RHP
#1
#2
#3
#4
#5
#6
#7
#8
#9
2
2
12
9
vs Left-Handed Pitchers
vs LHP
#1
#2
#3
#4
#5
#6
#7
#8
#9
1
1
1
Left/Right Batting Splits
Since 2020
 
 
+6%
OPS vs RHP
2022
 
 
+6%
OPS vs RHP
2021
No Stats
2020
No Stats
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2020vs Left .769 28 5 2 8 0 .222 .250 .519
Since 2020vs Right .814 80 9 3 10 0 .246 .350 .464
2022vs Left .769 28 5 2 8 0 .222 .250 .519
2022vs Right .814 80 9 3 10 0 .246 .350 .464
2021vs Left 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2021vs Right 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2020vs Left 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2020vs Right 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
More Splits View More Split Stats
Home/Away Batting Splits
Since 2020
 
 
+31%
OPS at Home
2022
 
 
+31%
OPS at Home
2021
No Stats
2020
No Stats
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2020Home .918 52 7 2 9 0 .289 .385 .533
Since 2020Away .699 56 7 3 9 0 .196 .268 .431
2022Home .918 52 7 2 9 0 .289 .385 .533
2022Away .699 56 7 3 9 0 .196 .268 .431
2021Home 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2021Away 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2020Home 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2020Away 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
More Splits View More Split Stats
Stat Review
How does Drew Waters compare to other hitters?
This section compares his stats with all batting seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 400 plate appearances)*. The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that stat and it would be considered average.

* Exit Velocity and Barrels/PA % are benchmarked against 2019 data (min 400 PA) and Hard Hit Rate is benchmarked against last season's data (min 400 PA). See here for more exit velocity/barrels stats plus an explanation of current limitations with that data set.
  • BB/K
    Walk to strikeout ratio
  • BB Rate
    The percentage of plate appearances resulting in a walk.
  • K Rate
    The percentage of plate appearances resulting in a strikeout.
  • BABIP
    Batting average on balls in play. Measures how many of a batter’s balls in play go for hits.
  • ISO
    Isolated Power. Slugging percentage minus batting average. A computation used to measure a batter's raw power.
  • AVG
    Batting average. Hits divided by at bats.
  • OBP
    On Base Percentage. A measure of how often a batters reaches base. Roughly equal to number of times on base divided by plate appearances.
  • SLG
    Slugging Percentage. A measure of the batting productivity of a hitter. It is calculated as total bases divided by at bats.
  • OPS
    On base plus slugging. THe sum of a batter's on-base percentage and slugging percentage.
  • wOBA
    Weighted on-base average. Measures a player's overall offensive contributions per plate appearance. wOBA combines all the different aspects of hitting into one metric, weighting each of them in proportion to their actual run value.
  • Exit Velocity
    The speed of the baseball as it comes off the bat, immediately after a batter makes contact.
  • Hard Hit Rate
    A measure of contact quality from Sports Info Solutions. This stat explains what percentage of batted balls were hit hard vs. medium or soft.
  • Barrels/PA
    The percentage of plate appearances where a batter had a batted ball classified as a Barrel. A Barrel is a batted ball with similar exit velocity and launch angle to past ones that led to a minimum .500 batting average and 1.500 slugging percentage.
  • Expected BA
    Expected Batting Average.
  • Expected SLG
    Expected Slugging Percentage.
  • Sprint Speed
    The speed of a runner from home to first, in feet per second.
  • Ground Ball %
    The percentage of balls put in play that are on the ground.
  • Line Drive %
    The percentage of balls put in play that are line drives.
  • Fly Ball %
    The percentage of balls put in play that are fly balls.
BB/K
0.30
 
BB Rate
11.1%
 
K Rate
37.0%
 
BABIP
.353
 
ISO
.240
 
AVG
.240
 
OBP
.324
 
SLG
.479
 
OPS
.803
 
wOBA
.350
 
Exit Velocity
84.1 mph
 
Hard Hit Rate
32.1%
 
Barrels/PA
6.5%
 
Expected BA
.195
 
Expected SLG
.376
 
Sprint Speed
24.7 ft/sec
 
Ground Ball %
48.2%
 
Line Drive %
17.9%
 
Fly Ball %
33.9%
 
Prospect Rankings History
Advanced Batting Stats
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Additional Stats
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Defensive Stats
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Batted Ball Stats
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Stats Vs Upcoming Pitchers
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2021
2020
2019
2018
Still blessed with plus speed, above-average power and exit velocities that suggest he could eventually develop plus power, Waters has exciting fantasy-relevant tools and just turned 22 in December. He finished 2019 with a 36.1 K% over 26 games in his first exposure to Triple-A pitching as a 20-year-old and also had 14 strikeouts in 28 at-bats during big-league spring training in 2020, so it's been a while since he had sustained success in official games. Waters excelled at Double-A in 2019 (144 wRC+) despite playing half his games in a very pitcher-friendly park (Mississippi). The switch hitter reportedly focused on his right-handed swing (.664 OPS vs. LHP in 2019) along with improving his plate discipline while at the alternate training site. Waters projects as a plus defender in an outfield corner and should make his MLB debut this summer whenever a spot opens up.
An athletic switch hitter who laces line drives to all fields and utilizes plus speed on the bases, Waters established himself as a top-10 prospect in his age-20 season. The ballpark at Double-A Mississippi is extremely pitcher-friendly, so while he hit just five home runs, his 35 doubles and nine triples in 108 games tell a more complete story. He was the youngest qualified Southern League hitter yet ranked third on the circuit with a 144 wRC+. It was a mixed bag after his late-season promotion to Triple-A (good: walks, line drives; bad: strikeouts, lack of power) but he was also the youngest hitter in the International League. It was impressive that he made it there at all. The Braves don't need him in Atlanta early on, so his 2020 could mirror Austin Riley's 2019. If he makes the necessary adjustments, he will get the call and has the tools (20-20 upside) to be a difference maker once he is up.
It was known before the 2017 draft and heading into last season that Waters had the potential to be a plus runner with plus raw power, but his ability to hit for a high average was a complete unknown. That aspect of his game is still a bit of an unknown, as he has not yet faced upper-level pitching, but after hitting .293 with a manageable 21.1 K% across stops at Low-A and High-A, he looks much more likely to be a five-category contributor in time. A switch hitter, Waters was much more effective against righties last season (.883 OPS as LHB, .657 OPS as RHB), although those splits flipped in a tiny sample in 2017. He walked just 29 times in 498 PA (5.8 BB%), operating with an aggressive approach early in the count. While he can survive with his current approach, increased selectivity would up his ceiling, especially as he faces more advanced pitching. Waters can handle all three outfield spots, has 20/20 potential and could reach the majors in 2020.
A switch-hitter who should remain so as he moves up the ladder, Waters is a toolshed who is one of the top-15 prep position players from the 2017 draft class. The Braves were able to keep the Georgia product in state with a $1.5 million signing bonus after selecting him with the 41st overall pick. He does damage from both sides of the plate, thanks to plus bat speed that should allow him to eventually tap into 25-plus homer power as he grows into his 6-foot-2, 183-pound frame. Waters is a plus runner, but it remains to be seen how long he holds that speed. After dominating in a brief run in the Gulf Coast League (189 wRC+, .224 ISO), Waters received a promotion to the Appalachian League, where pitchers were able to routinely exploit him with breaking balls (35.5 percent strikeout rate). Improving his pitch recognition will be crucial in order for him to hit for a high enough average to profile as an everyday player.
More Fantasy News
Earns playing time to close season
OFKansas City Royals
October 3, 2022
Waters will start in left field and bat eighth in Monday's game against the Guardians.
ANALYSIS
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Homers again Saturday
OFKansas City Royals
October 2, 2022
Waters went 2-for-4 with a solo home run, a double and two total runs scored in Saturday's 7-1 win over the Guardians.
ANALYSIS
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Pops homer in loss
OFKansas City Royals
October 1, 2022
Waters went 1-for-3 with a two-run home run in Friday's 6-3 loss to the Guardians.
ANALYSIS
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Three-hit effort in loss
OFKansas City Royals
September 25, 2022
Waters went 3-for-4 with an RBI triple and a run scored in Saturday's 6-5 loss to the Mariners.
ANALYSIS
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Tallies second career homer
OFKansas City Royals
September 22, 2022
Waters went 1-for-3 with a solo home run Thursday against the Twins.
ANALYSIS
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