The Atlanta Braves have traded Drew Waters, Andrew Hoffman and another minor leaguer to the Kansas City Royals for the 35th overall pick in the 2022 MLB Draft, it was announced today. While draft picks cannot normally be traded, competitive balance picks, which are awarded to small market teams, can be dealt, and the pick that was traded was one of those competitive balance picks.
This seems like a fairly steep price that the Braves are paying for a pick between the first and second rounds. While Waters’ star has fallen — he was a top 50 prospect in the BA rankings prior to both the 2020 and 2021 seasons — he still was the #5 prospect in the Braves system in the BA mid-season rankings. Waters has plus speed and his center field defense is also considered to be plus, and he’s a switch hitter who has good power, but his contact issues have limited him. He is slashing .246/.305/.393 in AAA this season.
Hoffman, a 22 year old righthanded pitcher, was the Braves’ 12th round pick in the 2021 MLB Draft out of the University of Illinois. He pitched well in low-A in 2021 after signing, and so far in 2022 has a 2.36 ERA in 80 innings at high-A, striking out 90 while walking 21.