KANSAS CITY, Mo.—The Kansas City Royals tonight selected Gavin Cross, an outfielder from Virginia Tech, with the ninth overall pick in the 2022 First-Year Player Draft.
Cross, 21, hit .328 (80-for-244) with 17 home runs and 50 RBI in 57 games in his junior season as Virginia Tech. The left-handed batter recorded 39 extra-base hits for a .660 slugging percentage and 1.071 OPS, while making most of his starts in center field. He also stole 12 bases without being caught.
In three years at Virginia Tech, Cross slashed .340/.412/.609 with 28 home runs and 28 stolen bases in 124 games.
He is the fifth player chosen ninth overall in Royals history and the first since 2001. One of the previous four players selected ninth overall by Kansas City was Kevin Appier (drafted in 1987), who was inducted into the Royals Hall of Fame in 2011. The Royals also selected Clint Hurdle ninth overall in the 1975 Draft.
This marks the first time the Royals have selected a position player with their first pick since 2019, when they drafted Bobby Witt Jr. No. 2 overall. Cross is the first college position player selected by the Royals with their first pick since Hunter Dozier was drafted eighth overall out of Stephen F. Austin State University in 2013.
The Royals next pick will come later tonight in the second round (No. 49 overall).