With the 9th pick in the 2022 MLB Draft, the Kansas City Royals selected Gavin Cross, an outfielder from Virginia Tech. Before draft night, many saw Cross as a likely selection for the Royals, as he will fit their strengths in hitting development and has more defensive value than some of the other college bats available at 9.
Cross is a big, tall prospect who profiles more as a right fielder than centerfielder (though he played center at Virginia Tech). He has average-to-above average tools across the board and a pretty advanced approach at the plate. He cut his strikeout rate and upped his walk rate this season for the Hokies and looks like the type of hitter who could have above average power at the major league level. While he isn’t a burner, he runs well for his size and should be at least above average (and perhaps more) in a corner outfield spot.
Cross is seen as a somewhat safe pick who should command roughly his slot value, meaning the Royals won’t be able to greatly overpay high-upside players later in the draft.
For more on Cross and the prospects still available, check out the Royals Farm Report 2022 MLB Draft Guide.