After an impressive three-year career where he led Virginia Tech baseball to unimaginable heights and a history-making 2022, Gavin Cross has made some more history as the highest-selected Hokie in program history.
You're looking at the No. 9 pick (@Royals) in the 2022 @MLBDraft 😎— HokieSports (@hokiesports) July 18, 2022
Congrats to @HokiesBaseball's @GavinCross24 on becoming the highest @MLB Draft pick in school history! pic.twitter.com/xb00UFgJwu
Gavin Cross was selected 9th overall by the Kansas City Royals in the 2022 MLB Draft. He is the first Hokie to ever be selected in the top 10 of the MLB Draft and breaks the previous high draft pick record of Joe Saunders at 12th overall in the 2002 MLB Draft by the Los Angeles (then Anaheim) Angels.
Cross heads off to professional baseball after a tremendous three years in Blacksburg with a .340 batting average, 28 home runs, 93 RBIs, 28 doubles, 13 triples, 28 stolen bases, a .412 on-base percentage, a .609 slugging percentage, 7 outfield assists, and a .988 fielding percentage in 124 games.
His 2022 season was the best season of his career as he had a .328 batting average with 17 home runs, 50 RBIs, 14 doubles, 8 triples, 12-12 on stolen base attempts, a .411 on-base percentage, a .660 slugging percentage, 3 outfield assists to 1 error, and a .992 fielding percentage in 57 games.
This came as Cross earned his second-straight All-ACC First Team honors while leading the Hokies to their first ever ACC regular season title, first ever Super Regional (which Tech hosted), and highest national seed in program history at #4.
Cross going in the top 10 shouldn't come as a shock as he's the classic five-tool college prospect who definitely could reach the majors faster than most players in this class given that he's a more polished player. Many see him as a corner outfielder who has the versatility to play a decent major league center field at the pro level while his all-around hitting and solid baserunning gives him 20-20 upside.
The Bristol, TN area native will also become a multi-millionaire very soon with his #9 overall draft slot being worth $5.2 million with Cross likely to receive an amount right around that number. That's hard-earned, life-changing money that will certainly be used by John Szefc and his staff as well of their ability to help players develop into high-end MLB prospects.
Cross was at the core of the transformation over the past few years of Virginia Tech Baseball under Szefc being the type of special talent that starts to raise the ability of everyone around him while also showing to younger recruits that Tech is a place for big time talent to thrive.
His on-field talent and off-field leadership by example has undoubtedly made a big impact on Virginia Tech Baseball in helping them reach achievements that seemed unimaginable for this program even with the massive new investment from a #4 national seed to Super Regionals and an ACC regular season title.
The bar has been raised greatly for Virginia Tech Baseball with dreams of Omaha and a national title being more than reasonable as more talented recruits come to Blacksburg than ever before with Gavin Cross being a big reason for that.