Danny Ontiveros, take a bow.
We have been begging the Royals to #DraftMoreHitters on Twitter this spring, specifically of the college variety, and the Royals went out and took two of the best college hitters available at the time of their respective selection. Gavin Cross, an athletic outfielder from Virginia Tech, was the Royals first selection at #9. You can read about him here. Then, with their second pick at #49 overall, the Royals took Arkansas’ sophomore third baseman Cayden Wallace, a power-hitting righty with a chance to be a good third baseman long-term. You can read about that pick here.
Of course, you can read all of our thoughts on the 2022 MLB Draft in our Draft Guide for just $3.49.
I am so happy that the Royals took two college hitters with legitimate power potential with their picks last night. It would be hypocritical of me to now act like I didn’t love this draft after begging them to do exactly this all spring. Drew Saylor and company have done wonderfully when it comes to developing hitters and the Royals just took a couple of thoroughbreds for the development team to play with. There were rumors all day about the Royals shopping around an under-slot deal for their 9th overall pick, including several arms that were supposedly in play, and Kansas City came out with two college bats we know they loved during this process.
Here’s a good bit from the Draft Guide. We mocked Cross to Kansas City at #9 and Jared did a phenomenal job with the write-up. I linked the Draft Guide above, please consider buying it to support all the work that went into getting you guys ready for the draft this year. Here’s Jared’s write-up on Cayden Wallace:
We did draft grades on the podcast last night, and I gave both picks an A- individually and I’m giving the Royals an A for the night. Like I said, it would be hypocritical of me to beg them to draft college hitters all spring and then not give them a good grade when they draft two college hitters with their first two picks of the draft. I love the process. Cross wouldn’t have been my first choice at #9. Wallace is a great pick at #49. Even if you don’t love the players, I LOVE the process (and love the Wallace pick as well). This was a great night for the Kansas City Royals and might be a preview into a fundamental shift in how the organization drafts moving forward under new scouting director Danny Ontiveros.