MLB Draft: 4 hitters the KC Royals should consider

(Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
(Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /
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KC Royals
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Even after adding Drew Waters, the KC Royals need more outfield depth.

Unlike the NFL Draft, baseball draft choices are rarely driven by filling immediate big league needs. Most draftees are three or more years from contributing at the major league level.

So, teams frequently draft players who don’t have specific places to play; nevertheless, the Royals can, even after acquiring Drew Waters from Atlanta in their early-week draft pick trade, increase organizational center field depth by choosing Virginia Tech’s Gavin Cross.

Although his average has dropped in each of his three seasons with the Hokies—but still remains exceptional—Cross is hitting for more power while maintaining a strong approach at the plate:

  • 2020: 16G, 71 PA, .369/.409/.385, 14.08 K%, 5.6 BB%, 0 HR
  • 2021: 51G, 234 PA, .345/.415/.621, 20.5 K%, 7.2 BB%, 11 HR
  • 2022: 57G, 280 PA, .328/.411/.660, 14.6 K%, 10.7 BB%, 17 HR

Cross has good length in his swing and quick hands that allow him to stay inside the ball, so he can do real damage on inside pitches. His swing is similar to Vinnie Pasquantino’s—both have good eyes for the strike zone and use their quick hands to smash inside pitches.

Cross is a center fielder but might be destined to play in the corners. But he’d be an excellent addition to the Royals’ farm system and might see the majors as early as 2024.