Previous Etowah High University star Drew Waters will get the likelihood to take a look at himself in opposition to major league expertise subsequent month after getting an invite to the Atlanta Braves’ big league camp previously this week.
Waters is 1 of 20 non-roster invitees established to be a part of the relaxation of the team as posture players report Feb. 20 to the Braves’ advanced in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.
The 20-calendar year-outdated outfielder was 1 of 4 invited prospective buyers rated in MLB.com’s prime 100, along with pitcher Ian Anderson, outfielder Christian Pache and infielder Austin Riley. Even now, Waters claimed he was continue to astonished when he listened to the news.
“I was chatting to my agent about it previously, and he did not see it as staying real looking for me to be in major league spring education this calendar year,” claimed Waters, a next-round collection in 2017, about a month after primary Etowah to the Class AAAAAAA condition championship. “Everyone else was receiving their e-mails about when to report, so, when I observed in which they required me to arrive, I was pumped.”
The invite will allow Waters to play in opposition to recognized big leaguers and prime prospective buyers, whilst he also expects to obtain just as much from those people on his team. He plans on absorbing as much as he can.
“At this amount, they are clearly all incredibly proficient players, but the men like Nick Markakis, Brian McCann or Josh Donaldson have clearly figured out what performs,” Waters claimed. “They have a experienced method about going about their organization. I’m fascinated in looking at it to start with-hand and inquiring some thoughts.”
Waters did perfectly at the plate by means of his to start with two seasons as a professional.
At 4 levels of the Braves’ organization, Waters has merged to hit .289 with 13 residence operates and 63 RBIs. Last calendar year, he hit a merged .293 with 9 homers, 39 RBIs and 23 stolen bases for Class A Rome and sophisticated Class A Florida, whilst also staying named to the South Atlantic League All-Star team.
His ideal likelihood to make improvements to at camp could be on defense, in which he will share an outfield with Gold Glove winners Markakis and Ender Inciarte, and 2018 Countrywide League Rookie of the Year Ronald Acuna Jr.
“You generally need to have to do the job on defense,” Waters claimed. “You need to have to do the job on your angles and receiving the ball out speedy. I do not feel there could be a better team of men to discover from. You look at all their awards and how they play defense, and you can see how much do the job they place in it.”
Discovering from Markakis, a item of Towne Lake archrival Woodstock, could place Waters in an intriguing posture. Waters was a important cog on the Etowah team that defeat the Wolverines for a condition title two seasons in the past, and whilst he claimed he will preserve it to himself initially, the topic could arrive up.
“I do not feel there will be just about anything too major going on there,” Waters claimed. “I may possibly joke about there about beating them for the championship as soon as I get to know him a minor little bit, but my principal target from the start is to discover as much as I can.”
Apart from the seasoned veterans, the Braves also have a main of younger players Waters can pick up recommendations from.
At 20 several years outdated, Waters is just two several years more youthful than All-Star next baseman Ozzie Albies and a calendar year more youthful than Acuna, whose paths are ones that Waters is keen to abide by.
“I want to pick their minds a minor little bit,” Waters claimed. “They’re in which I would like to be as speedy as feasible. I want to know how they did it. They’ve been effective at the major league amount, so I’m fascinated to know what they did.”