Monday, June 7, 2010

Yankees Make SS Cito Culver Their 2010 1st Round Pick

With the 32nd pick in the first round, the Yankees took Cito Culver in this year's MLB Draft. He's a 6'1'', 167-pound switch hitting shortstop from Irondequoit HS in Rochester, N.Y. He also pitched in high school, but scouts don't see it in his future.

John Manuel of Baseball America had this to say about the pick:

Once again, this wasn't a consensus first-rounder. Need more proof? Cito Culver ranked No. 168 on our board, but Culver had athleticism, plus tools to play shortstop and good infield actions, and the Yankees popped him at No. 32.


From Aaron Fitt's draft report:

"The game comes easily to Culver, whose actions, instincts and range are all plus at times, though he has a long way to go to become a consistent defender, and some believe he profiles as a utility player down the road. The 6-foot-2, 175-pound Culver is a solid-average runner and a switch-hitter with a loose, whippy swing from both sides of the plate."

Here's a profile on Culver from John Kilma. He says that Culver's athleticism and quickness stand out, as does his arm, which hits 90-91 mph on the radar gun.
On one play, a kid fouled a pitch back behind the screen. Culver came off the mound, full speed, and caught up to his catcher deep in foul territory. It was a throwaway play to some scouts, but it showed me reflexes, his first step and his acceleration. The guy is an athlete.

He was very new to hitting with wood when I saw him and he didn’t have the strength. But all this guy would have to do is learn how to slap the ball and put it on the ground and he can run you .300 and have the arm and range for 2B, SS and 3B. So the guy could become a very good bench player or a very good everyday player if the offense comes along. What you cannot discount is the easy and loose athletic actions. You can’t buy those and they don’t sell them at the gym.

Besides what's said above, I know nothing about the guy besides that he's been offered a scholarship at St. Johns. The kid sounds pretty raw and most are surprised by this pick, as many expected the Yankees to go with a pitcher. Maybe we'll see them go in that direction as the draft continues.

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