KC Royals Draft: Great outfielders may be available

(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /
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KC Royals
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James Madison star Chase DeLauter could make a splash in the Royals’ outfield.

At 20, Chase DeLauter is tall (6-feet-five) and has hit consistently well for James Madison University, batting .398 in his career. He’s added pop in 2022 with three home runs in nine games (through Thursday) and a career-high .811 slugging percentage.

DeLauter also fields his position well, making only one error in two-plus seasons. That kind of dependability is vital at Kauffman Stadium where a ball that skips by a defender can easily lead to four bases.

His recent home run against Richmond may still bein orbit:

Virginia Tech’s Gavin Cross is an outfielder the KC Royals should consider.

Yet another tall lefty could await the Royals when they prepare to make their first pick in the next draft. Gavin Cross Cross is on the preseason 2022 Golden Spikes Award Watch List and was also named a Baseball America Preseason First Team All-American.

Any added pressure from those accolades hasn’t manifested itself—Cross had a 1.090 OPS in the first handful of games. Among his first six hits were two doubles and two triples.

With a sensational freshman year that included 11 homers and a 1.036 OPS, Cross could be a steal at the ninth pick if he’s available. There is some belief Cross has the best hit tool out of the college hitters. A jolt of solid batting is something needed in a future Royals outfield.

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The Royals should have plenty of solid outfield options when their number comes up at this year’s amateur draft.