KANSAS CITY, Mo.—The Kansas City Royals announced today that they have signed outfielder Gavin Cross, their first-round pick (9th overall) 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 at Virginia Tech, and was named to the Golden Spikes Award watch list. 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. In 2021, he became the first freshman in school history to be named First Team All-ACC. He was also named to the All-ACC Academic Team in 2021 and was a USA Baseball Collegiate National Team selection.

In being selected ninth overall, Cross became the highest-drafted player in the history of the Virginia Tech baseball program.