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Royals Select Two Players on First Day of 2022 First-Year Player Draft

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KANSAS CITY, MO.—The Kansas City Royals added two college position players to the organization on the first day of the 2022 First-Year Player Draft. With the ninth overall pick in the first round, the Royals selected Gavin Cross, an outfielder from Virginia Tech. With the 49th overall pick in the second round, the Royals selected third baseman Cayden Wallace from the University of Arkansas.

Cross, 21, hit .328 (80-for-244) with 17 home runs and 50 RBI in 57 games in his junior season as Virginia Tech. The left-handed batter recorded 39 extra-base hits for a .660 slugging percentage and 1.071 OPS, while making most of his starts in center field. He also stole 12 bases without being caught and was on the 2022 Golden Spikes Award watch list. Cross’ 2022 performance led Virginia Tech to the Super Regionals of the NCAA Tournament for the first time in the program’s history.

In three years at Virginia Tech, Cross slashed .340/.412/.609 with 28 home runs and 28 stolen bases in 124 games. In 2021, he became the first freshman in school history to be named First Team All-ACC. He was also named to the All-ACC Academic Team in 2021 and was a USA Baseball Collegiate National Team selection. Cross is the first Hokies baseball player selected in the first round since 1982, when the Dodgers selected Franklin Stubbs (19th overall), who played 10 seasons in the Majors.

Wallace, 20, was a starter for the Arkansas team that reached the College World Series semifinals this year. He hit .298 (82-for-275) with 16 home runs and 60 RBI in 67 games as a sophomore this season and led the team in runs (62), doubles (20), RBI, stolen bases (12) and slugging percentage (.553) and tied for the team high in home runs.

In 2021, Wallace tied the school freshman record of 14 home runs, held by former first-round picks Zack Cox (25th overall in 2010) and Heston Kjerstad (2nd overall in 2020). Wallace also played in 18 games for Bourne in the Cape Code League last year and hit .290 (18-for-62) with 14 RBI.

The Draft will resume tomorrow beginning at 1:00 p.m. CT with rounds 3-10, exclusively on MLB.com.

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Derek Nester
Derek Nesterhttps://sunflowerstateradio.com
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2021 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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