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2022 MLB draft: Former Virginia Tech star Gavin Cross goes No. 9 overall to the Kansas City Royals

Cross is the highest draft pick in Virginia Tech history.

COLLEGE BASEBALL: APR 22 Virginia Tech at Boston College Photo by Erica Denhoff/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The 2022 MLB draft began on Sunday night with the first round. And this year, it was of particular interest to the Virginia Tech Hokies.

With the No. 9 overall pick, the Kansas City Royals selected former Hokie center fielder Gavin Cross. Cross becomes the first top-10 pick in school history. Pitcher Joe Saunders back in 2002 was previously the highest-drafted player to come out of Virginia Tech.

The 6-foot-3, 210-pound Cross played three seasons at Virginia Tech, where his power improved each season. As a freshman in 2020, Cross hit .369 in 16 games played. In 2021, Cross played in 51 games and hit .345 with an OPS of 1.036 with 11 home runs and 35 RBI.

As a third-year sophomore this past season, Cross finished with a .328 batting average, a 1.071 OPS with 17 homers, 50 RBI and 12 stolen bases. He earned first-team All-ACC honors in each of the last two seasons.

Cross played center field for the Hokies last season but profiles as a corner outfielder at the next level.

Losing Cross is a good and a bad thing for the Hokies. There’s no way you replace a player like Gavin Cross. However, the good news is that you just placed a star hitter in the top 10 of the MLB draft, which help attract some of the nation’s top hitters.

Things are changing in Blacksburg, and the baseball program under John Szefc is a prime example of some of the many positive changes under athletic director Whit Babcock in recent years.

We’ll have more on Cross to the Royals story throughout the week. We here at Gobbler Country wish nothing but the best to Gavin Cross and appreciate everything he has done to help revive Virginia Tech baseball.