Grading the last 5 top KC Royals MLB Draft picks

How are Kansas City's most recent first choices doing?
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2022: Gavin Cross, outfielder

When the 2022 minor league season ended, it looked like Kansas City had gotten just what it bargained for when it chose Virginia Tech's Cross with the ninth overall pick of that season's midsummer draft. After he signed and reported to the Arizona Complex League, where he played only four post-signing games (and went 5-for-10 with a homer and a pair of doubles), the Royals promoted him to Single-A, where for Columbia he slashed an eye-catching .293/.423/.596, homered seven times, and drove in 22 runs in 26 games.

But uncertainty and misfortune visited Cross last season. Playing 94 games for Columbia and two for Quad Cities, he hit .203/.298/.378 with 12 homers, numbers attributable to a long early-season slump and a case of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.

Fortunately, this year has been different for Cross. His bat is back — in 68 games at Northwest Arkansas, he's hitting .295 with a .367 OBP, eight home runs, 40 RBI, and 17 steals. And he's also been picked, along with Kansas City pitching prospect Ben Kdurna, to play in this Saturday's prospect-studded Futures Game.

All things considered, we'll give the prospect MLB Pipeline says is the organization's seventh-best a solid B.