As the Detroit Tigers prepare for the 2022 MLB First-Year Amateur Player Draft, they have to weigh all their options. We're under the two-week mark, and the Tigers are likely putting the finishing touches on their draft preperation as the days continue to count down.
With the 12th overall draft pick, the Detroit Tigers will have some options. There will be a plethora of hitters and pitchers still on the board for them, but they must be thinking hitter. There is a desperate need for the Tigers to grab an impactful hitter in the draft.
They need to add a bat who will rise to the big leagues and help anchor this lineup. For that, they need to turn to the collegiate ranks. This means taking an established hitter who has proven himself and has shown he will be a benefit to the team quickly.
To help expedite this rebuild, they need to be hoping to take Gavin Cross. The left-handed-hitting outfielder has a smooth stroke from the left side that should leave the Tigers excited about what he could bring to the team's outfield. Let's look deeper at what Cross could bring and why the team should hope he's there at pick no.12 in 2022.
Detroit Tigers need to be hoping for Gavin Cross.
In 2022, Gavin Cross logged 57 games with the Hokies, slashing .328/.411/.660 with 14 doubles, 17 home runs, and 50 RBI over 280 plate appearances. MLB dot com's list has Cross ranked as the tenth-best prospect in the draft class; the Tigers should be prepped and ready to take him.
Looking at Cross' swing, he's slightly open, with the hands back. He sinks into his load and uses a leg lift and stride to move through the swing. He gets the foot down out in front, but keeps his weight back, lifts the hands, and at heel strike, cues his weight transfer.
He already has the hands back but uses the ability to barrel pitches and explodes through the zone. His ability to control the barrel but keep power behind it is what is special. Here's a slo-mo clip of his swing from Twitter, showing how he controls the barrel to match planes.
— Josh Norris (@jnorris427) April 3, 2022
There is some serious strength in the swing from Cross; he can stay on plane with pitches and muscle the baseball with power and strength present. He stands 6-foot-3 and weighs 210-pounds. But even for a larger guy, the tools are present and exciting.
With a solid performance for the Hokies and incredibly loud tools, the Tigers must be in on the left-handed, hitting outfielder. There's a lot to like, and he would pair incredibly well with Riley Greene, who crushed his first big league home run the other day.
As draft day inches closer, Cross looks more and more like the best play for the Tigers with the twelfth pick if he is available. If the Tigers want to earn a passing grade with their first-round draft choice, there is no reason that Gavin Cross should not be at the top of their list heading into draft day.