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Then & Now: Gavin Cross, Virginia Tech


David Seifert
Director of College Scouting


THEN JANUARY 29, 2017
: A highly regarded two-way prospect, Cross ran a 4.43 Home to 1st from the left side, threw 87 mph from the outfield and recorded an Exit Velocity of 87 mph off the tee. The 6-foot-0, 175-pound, LHH hits from a balanced and even stance with a short and simple stride and smooth movement back with his hands. His lower half stays wide and strong and clears his hips while giving him a solid base to operate. His swing plane is very flat through the zone and he finds the barrel often, but can allow his top hand to get a little too strong at times. Defensively, he plays very athletically with good hands and footwork in the outfield. Played through the ball with confidence. All throws were firm and accurate.

Cross also pitches and was the top arm at the event. He worked efficiently on the mound with consistent tempo and fluidity. He creates some very slight shoulder tilt before heading to the plate and strides mostly in line. He showed a shorter, but loose arm action coming through a three-quarter angle and finished with balance. He could stride out further to gain separation and possible more velo. His fastball touched 85 and mostly sat 82-84. It had some hard and late run when kept down in the zone. His 70-72 mph curveball showed 2/8 shape with some potential and his 69-72 changeup had some run, but slowed the arm down a touch. Threw all three pitches for strikes.

 


NOW MARCH 13, 2022
The Hokie slugger combines power, speed and fast-twitch. He’s an impressive athlete with high level bat to ball skills. His plate coverage reminds me of how Kyle Schwarber’s bat head used to just swallow baseballs and then launch them into orbit. A monster in the box, the lefty slugger is up there to crush the baseball by taking Man Hacks with both bat speed and bat strength. What was once a pull dominant swing has become one that produces hard contact to all fields from all different pitch types. He shows high level pitch ID skills and possesses the bat speed to hit any fastball. Entering this spring season, his swing/miss was a concern for the industry (17 BB, 48 SO in 234 plate appearances for a 20.5% K rate in 2021). It has been nearly non-existent throughout 2022 to date with just four strikeouts in 61 plate appearances (6.5% K rate). He can get out on the front side at times and a touch out of sync, but he is strong enough and athletic enough to adjust and still mishit balls for extra bases. Overall, it’s a swing and approach that projects to hit for a solid average and produce plus power at the Major League level. With plus speed and run times down the line from the left side in the 4.10s Cross is also a solid defender in center field, but profiles best to right field with slightly better than average arm strength. For me the five-tool talent is a no doubt top 10 overall pick this July. (Seifert)

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