Prospect Pulse: Royals' Drew Waters Working Towards MLB Return in Triple-A

Waters' blazing performance in Triple-A could earn him a swift return to the MLB, especially with Royals outfielder Hunter Renfroe sidelined by injury.
Prospect Pulse: Drew Waters
Prospect Pulse: Drew Waters / © Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports
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Outfielder Drew Waters is making a compelling case for a return to the Major Leagues as he continues to shine with the Omaha Storm Chasers, the Triple-A affiliate of the Kansas City Royals.

Currently batting .277, Waters has displayed a potent combination of power and speed, tallying seven home runs, 33 RBIs, and nine stolen bases. His disciplined approach at the plate has resulted in a .351 OBP and a .484 SLG, contributing to a robust .835 OPS over 214 at-bats as the team's everyday right fielder and two-hole hitter.

Waters has been on fire recently, batting .389 with two home runs, seven RBIs, a .450 OBP, and a .778 SLG over his last five games. This surge in performance comes at a pivotal moment, as the Royals may soon have an opening in their outfield.

Last night, Royals outfielder Hunter Renfroe injured his toe in a 4-2 loss against the Yankees, potentially sidelining him and creating a golden opportunity for Waters. With his recent offensive explosion and solid season stats, Waters is well-positioned to be the next man up.

Waters' journey with the Royals began on July 11, 2022, when the Braves traded him, CJ Alexander, and Andrew Hoffmann to Kansas City in exchange for the 35th overall pick in the 2022 MLB draft. Last season with the Royals, Waters showed flashes of his potential, hitting eight home runs and stealing 16 bases, though his batting average was a modest .228 over 302 at-bats.

Despite being a 2021 All-Star Futures Game Selection and once ranked as high as the #25 overall prospect on MLB Pipeline, Waters hasn't fully lived up to those lofty expectations yet, and was optioned in March after spring training. However, the Royals remain hopeful that he can emerge as a productive major leaguer and valuable switch hitter. His current performance in Triple-A indicates that he might be ready to make the leap and make a significant impact at the highest level — but only time will tell.

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Mathey Gibson