The Atlanta Braves acquired the 35th pick in Sunday's Major League Baseball draft from the Kansas City Royals for center-field prospect Drew Waters, right-handed pitching prospect Andrew Hoffmann and Double-A third baseman CJ Alexander.
The draft choice, which is tradable because it is a competitive-balance pick given to small-market and low-revenue teams, comes with a slot value of $2,202,100. The Braves' bonus pool will swell to more than $10.2 million, moving them from the 19th-most available money to ninth.
Waters, 23, was at one point a consensus top-100 prospect but has plateaued at Triple-A over the past two seasons. A switch-hitter whose glove is good enough to keep him in center field long term, Waters is the key to the deal for Kansas City, joining its young core of Bobby Witt Jr., MJ Melendez, Vinnie Pasquantino and the soon-to-arrive Nick Pratto. Waters has been added to Kansas City's 40-man roster and optioned to Triple-A Omaha.
Chosen with the 41st pick in the 2017 draft, Waters is hitting .246/.305/.393 in 49 games at Triple-A this season. The emergence of Michael Harris II, the Braves' rookie center fielder, made Waters expendable.
Atlanta struck gold with Hoffmann, choosing him in the 12th round of the 2021 draft and watching him dominate at High-A this season. The 22-year-old is 7-2 with a 2.36 ERA and 90 strikeouts in 80 innings. In joining the Royals, Hoffmann is moving up to Double-A Northwest Arkansas, where he will be teammates with Alexander.
Alexander, who turns 26 Sunday, is a big, powerful left-hander with 15 home runs in 289 plate appearances at Double-A. He is hitting .258/.294/.465 and also has played first base.