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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City Royals are getting some new rookies in the system.

With the ninth overall pick in the 2022 MLB Draft, the Royals selected Virginia Tech outfielder Gavin Cross.

Cross is a left handed fielder and batter and primarily played center field in Blacksburg. He projects as a corner outfielder.

The Bristol, Tenn., native wbatted .369 in 16 games during the COVID-shortened 2020 season. Cross came back a year later and firmly established himself as a hitter to watch, posting a 1.035 OPS to go along with 11 homers and 35 RBIs.

Cross climbed up draft boards with a strong summer on the 2021 U.S. Collegiate National Team, leading a stacked roster in batting average (.467). He also tied for the team lead with four homers, 12 RBIs and three stolen bases.

This past season, the 6’3 210 pounder led the Hokies to their first NCAA Super Regional in program history and hit .328/.411/.660 with 17 homers and 50 RBIs. He also went 12-for-12 on stolen base attempts.

Cross becomes the highest Draft pick in Virginia Tech history and just the second Hokie hitter ever drafted in the first round — the Dodgers took Franklin Stubbs 19th overall in 1982.