Friday, May 18, 2012

Meet A Prospect : Cito Culver

Meet a prospect is back and this time we're highlighting another "heir apparent" candidate for the captain Derek Jeter, and his name is Cito Culver. Cito, born September 26th, 1992 in Rochester, New York , was selected 32nd overall in the 2010 First Year Player Draft with the first pick of the New York Yankees. Culver, a big and tall switch hitter who can also play outfield, was committed to playing baseball for the University of Maryland before he signed with the Yankees surprisingly around slot for $954,000. He was actually only the second high school short stop drafted by the Yankees, the other being CJ Henry, since the Yankees drafted Derek Jeter with the 6th overall pick in the 1992 draft. Will Cito be the next Yankees starting short stop? Let us find out, Meet Mr. Cito Culver.

Cito was actually a pitcher before he was a short stop, and a damn good one at that. He pitched so well in high school that he caught the eyes of a lot of scouts and was being looked at seriously as a pitcher for college teams. Culver had a slider and a feel for a changeup which at his age gives him the "project" moniker when it comes to draftability. At the same time though the term "the sky is the limit" is also commonly associated with "project" pitchers. Remember, it was nothing for Cito Culver to hit 95 mph as a pitcher, although the Yankees while watching and scouting him regarded to Cito as more of a "thrower" then a pitcher. I wonder if he does not work out as a short stop if he would be willing to try the conversion a la Red Sox Casey Kelly. 

Josh Norris, seen here, had NOTHING good to say about Cito Culver in his scouting report. I personally disagree with Mr. Norris here as I think that Culver is a very toolsy middle infielder that fell a lot farther down in the draft then he should have due to signability issues. He seems like he is going to have a high average with adequate speed but with minimal power but he is so far away it is hard to put a comparison on him to a current major leaguer. I have heard the Howie Kendricks comparisons, which I would not be terribly upset about, but again I think he is FAR too far away before we start talking about how his major league career is going to be like. Personally I think he is more like Brett Gardner, a slasher, without the speed but that is just me. 

I would give Cito Culver an ETA of 2015. Will that be as a starting short stop? Will that be as an outfielder? A pitcher? A utility infielder? Who knows, the kid is 20 years old. I , for one, am going to enjoy watching the local New York boy grow with the team and eventually make it to the majors. Good luck Cito, make us all proud. 

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)