Jun
07

2010 Draft: Yankees’ First Round Pick

By

Photo Credit: MLB.com

With their first pick in the 2010 MLB Draft, the Yankees selected shortstop Cito Culver from Irondequoit High School in Rochester, New York.

Scouting Report
If there’s one thing we know about scouting director Damon Oppenehimer, it’s that he loves up-the-middle high school athletes, and that certainly describes Culver. Standing 6-foot-2 and checking in at 175 lbs., Culver has premium athletic ability that will allow him to stay at short long-term and also opens up the possibility of a move to centerfield. His foot speed is good, and his defensive abilities are all very good except for his arm, which is a true cannon.

At the plate, the switch-hitting Culver generates good bat speed with an easy swing, though his power is mostly into the gaps and he’s a little bit better from the left side. He has lots of room for growth and has a chance to develop into a top of the line defender at a premium position with an average or better bat down the road. There are some reports of a troubled home life regarding his parents but not Cito himself. He’s committed to Maryland but is considered signable if taken high enough, which he certainly was.

Here’s some video via Baseball Beginnings.

My Take
I’m not a big fan of the pick; it’s definitely a reach. For what it’s worth, Oppenheimer called it an “easy decision.” Whenever a guy’s best tool is his throwing arm … well it’s always a cause for concern because you’d like the other skills to be refined. It’s not an indefensible pick though; there’s nothing wrong with selecting a premium up-the-middle athlete that will stay there for the next decade-plus.

I’ve seen some people quick to dub this another C.J. Henry pick, but the only similarities between the two are that they’re African American shortstops taken out of high school. Henry was more of a hacker who projected to hit for power but not average, and wasn’t guaranteed to stay at short. Culver’s basically the opposite.

There were definitely better players on the board, and so it’s not the best pick they could have made. No need to declare this one a bust yet. The last thing prospects provide is instant gratification. Frankie Piliere noted that Culver got huge grades late in the year, so he peaked at the right time.

Categories : Draft

280 Comments»

  1. TLJ says:

    He’s already gone down as Rochester’s greatest pride.

  2. Angelo says:

    All we can do is root for him. It’s better than considering him a bust 2 minutes after the Yankees draft him.

    Who knows? Culver could be the Yankees future shortstop.

  3. I find it hilarious that the terriosts have been complaining for years that we should stop taking BPA and draft a shortstop of the future to replace Jeter, and when we finally do it, they complain that we reached and should have taken BPA.

    http://www.lechatnoirboutique......20Dont.jpg (safe)

  4. Doug says:

    Mike, sounds like this was Oppy’s guy. How can someone completely miss the radar of the “experts” like BA (#168) and Law (outside his top 100)?

    • Angelo says:

      Exactly what I was thinking. The Yankees really have to like this kid. And I trust that they made the right decision.

      In the Yankees front office I trust.

      • Except when handling Joba.

      • Scout says:

        Why so much trust for the Yankees’ front office, in this case Oppenheimer and the scouting department? Apart from the Joba/Kennedy/Robertson/etc year and 2009 (still an unknown), are the results so exceptional? The organization is thin in position talent other than 2nd base and catcher; potential front-line starters (#s 1, 2, or 3) are few and far between. And I’m talking about the lower levels, where you find the results of the 2007 and 2008 drafts.

        • npc says:

          I like what you said, your comments are spot on. We all know Cashman has let this team get old. He has no strategy, no strategic plan regarding what needs to be accomplished. A check book is not a strategy. How many draft picks fizzled before Cano was pulled out of the hat?

          • steve (do) says:

            Pre cano, cas wasn’t in charge of the draft. Try again

          • Angelo says:

            Cano wasn’t a draft pick. He was an international free agent. And so was Alfonso Soriano, just incase somebody wants to make a case for him being a great draft pick.

            The Yankees drafted Lowell, Nick Johnson, Westbrook, Phil Hughes?

            Draft picks aren’t always going to be successful. It’s like taking a ticket for the lottery. Barely anyone wins, but everyone plays.

            And are you going to use the “Cashman has all the money” excuse? The Mets have money as well, but their GM is awful. The Yankees are consistently very good/great, year in and year out. And how is this team getting older? It’s actually getting younger. Nick Swisher? Curtis Granderson? Robinson Cano? Brett Gardner? Mark Teixeira? All of these guys are 30 or younger. Cashman has been making the Yankees more flexible and youthful for a few years now. Know your baseball before making stupid comments.

        • Angelo says:

          So you’re eliminating the talent that they have at second base and catcher because that’s where a lot of their talent is? How much sense does that make. Yes, the Yankees are thin on talent in the minor leagues, but you have to remember they traded away a few of their best prospects during the off-season.

          Ever heard of Austin Jackson, Mike Dunn, Ian Kennedy, and Arodys Vizciano? If they kept all of those players, the Yankees would have a very good farm system.

          Phil Hughes seems to be finding success this year as well. And you didn’t note him. Also, the Yankees have other good prospects from drafts after 2006, David Adams, Austin Romine, Brandon Laird, Adam Warren, Graham Stoneburner.

          Give the Yankees some credit. Most prospects take some time to develop, so we can’t quite evaluate drafts after 2006 yet.

  5. The most intriguing thing to me was that OPP seemed to say his bat was the best part about him. Perhaps he’s made some recent offensive strides, or they see something that indicates he’ll fill out to become a great hitter. Somethings up hear. If with Cole and Cast on the board, this was an “easy decision”? I’m very excited!

    • AndrewYF says:

      I wonder what the Yankees said when they signed CJ Henry? Was it an easy decision then, too?

    • mbonzo says:

      From what I understand he only started using wood bats this year and he started off real slow and finally adjusted recently. His recent numbers have been outstanding, but its hard to translate this in his division.

      • Scout says:

        Recent numbers = small sample size.

        • Ted Nelson says:

          The Yankees had Culver on their Area Code Games team a year ago, so they’ve known about this kid for a while. That doesn’t necessarily make it a good or bad pick, but they didn’t just blindly pick some kid based on a few at bats.

  6. Salty Buggah says:

    Well, said Mike, I feel the same way.

    I kinda wanted the Yanks to draft another catcher, so I could see how many heads would explode. Either way, he’s a decently high ceiling, high risk player so I won’t complain. Here’s hoping he develops into something useful at the MLB level.

  7. Meat Loaf says:

    He has met Jeter and Girardi has his phone number. Yeah, definitely the Yankee’s guy.

    • I don’t know, I’m pretty sure Girardi has everyone’s phone number, just in case.

      • pat says:

        Hah, what? Every prospect they talked to?

        • Meat Loaf says:

          Even Tim Redding’s.

          • pat says:

            Girardi:”Yo Timmy we have a tough stretch of games coming up we need someone to come up and eat some innings in the bullpen.

            Timmy:Awesome,that’s great coach this is just the opportunity I was looking for when I signed with the organiza-…..

            Girardi: NOT!!! (Laughs maniacally, hangs up)

            Timmy: (Starts crying)

            The K-Man approaches completely naked except for a pair of Oakley sunglasses.

            Igawa: It’s OK buddy, at least we all make 4 million dollars per year right?

            Timmy: (sobs uncontrollably)

  8. Captain Jack says:

    CJ Henry was traded for Bobby Abreu…so I won’t be completely upset if he does go CJ Henry on the Yankees.

  9. Cult of Basebaal says:

    here are some reports of a troubled home life regarding his parents

    Well, if by “some reports of a troubled home life” you meant, his father “is in prison for at least six more years after he pleaded guilty to first-degree burglary, third-degree arson and first-degree criminal contempt for burning down the family’s home on Easter Sunday in 2008″, then yes, there are some reports of that …

    Though by all accounts, Culver is thought of as a great kid and those issues aren’t on him at all.

    http://www.democratandchronicl.....0105070318

    • Onewhoknows! says:

      You are correct when you state this about Cito’s father, but what you don’t know is what drove his father to do something so very out of character for him. Ask his now ex wife if you must know. Cito is a great kid who would not be the ball player he is today without the support his father gave him while they were still a family unit intact! His father traveled the country with him making sure that he was at the best camps learning from the best! He was at EVERY game, practice, the one standing out in the yard helping him work harder to be the best! If you want to throw stones, throw some at the mom. Leave Cito out of it, he is still a kid after all and can’t help what his parents do or do not do. His father is paying for a horrible mistake that was done under duress. It was HIS home that he burnt! He paid for it and now he is still paying for it.

      • Dirty Pena says:

        He did say this:

        Though by all accounts, Culver is thought of as a great kid and those issues aren’t on him at all.

      • Thanks for the info/perspective. (A paragraph break wouldn’t hurt, though.)

        /friendlyadvice’d

      • pat says:

        I don’t care how much of a bitch your wife is, you don’t burn down your own goddamn house on Easter morning.

        That shit’s messed up man.

      • dzop says:

        I’m curious to know what kind of “duress” you think morally justifies arson and what may well have been attempted murder.

      • Ted Nelson says:

        Umm… There’s no excuse for burning down a house… You can’t put that on anyone else. No one MAKES you do that. That is a BIG mistake indeed.

        You also seem to miss that the comment you respond to goes out of its way to say that it’s not on Culver.

        • Again, he’s not saying there’s an excuse for burning down a house. Just saying that the story has more context than you may initially have read/heard about.

          • poster says:

            I could believe that. But I think it’s still a good idea to make claer that we don’t condone the burning down of one’s house and the attempted murder of one’s wife. Like, ever, basically.

            • And again, he never in his statement said that he condoned Culver’s dad’s actions.

              Just stated that there are extenuating circumstances. That’s all.

              To quote Chris Rock’s joke about O.J. Simpson:

              “I ain’t sayin he shoulda killed her… but I understand.”

              • Ted Nelson says:

                Very, very few circumstances warrant burning down a house. I don’t care how horrible your wife is. You can only control your own actions. In all seriousness condoning or excusing this kind of thing makes me sick. I’m not saying Cito’s father is necessarily a bad person or anything, but the actions he was convicted of sound like a totally unexcusable lapse in judgement at best. Imagine if the fire jumps, the house next door catches fire, and two young kids die in their sleep. “My wife is a bitch” is just not going to cut it.

                • I’m sorry to belabor this point, but Onewhoknows! did not warrant, condone, excuse, or justify Culver’s father’s actions. He didn’t.

                  All he did was add context. You are free to accept or reject that context however you see fit.

                  Nowhere in that paragraph did he say, however, anything to the effect of “What Culver’s dad did was warranted/condoned/excusable/justifiable.”

    • MikeD says:

      Hmmmm…well if he is Jeter’s replacement, that means the prison guy is Dr. Charles Jeter’s replacement at future games?

  10. Jake H says:

    I’m not going to kill a draft with the 1st round pick.

  11. Reggie C. says:

    Here’s hoping Slade Heathcott takes Culver into the weight room and shows him a thing or two on strength training.

    A skinny, fast-twitched CC… Who would’ve thunk it.

  12. B-Rando says:

    There was some exciting players up there…I think this one was more of a shock for me personally

    Obviously we can’t call this a bust or a bad pick until we see how he pans out (lets talk in 5 years), but I think the negative outlook on it is just because of some of the “big names” that were still out there at the time.

    I’m still praying we pick up Cole.

  13. thurdonpaul says:

    the yankees FO and scouting department are a helluva lot smarter then me, i look forward to following this kid as he makes his way to the bronx.

  14. pat says:

    It’s gonna be fun to root for a kid named Cito. It’s fun to say.
    LETS GOOOOOO CITOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!

  15. YFan says:

    Does anyone know what his money demands are? If it’s slot I hope we can see him play pro ball this season.

  16. Reggie C. says:

    I’ll just go ahead and say it. I do not expect this kid to play much Short-season ball next season. I see alot of strength training and hitting instruction in his future in EST.

  17. Yeah Yeah Yeah says:

    I’m hoping this is like the atlanta braves situation with georgia-based prospects. The yanks have this big advantage in this state because they know it better, and can find the hidden gems, just like the braves have that advantage in georgia. And then I remember prep school baseball ain’t so great in NY. Still, one can hope.

  18. Mister Delaware says:

    Wonder how he stacks up against Jiovanni Mier. Physically, they’re near identical.

  19. YankeesJunkie says:

    In the MLB draft you are supposed to get best player available in the draft and Culver was not on the radar at #32. I don’t like this move and I think they could have gotten a Jenkins, Cole, etc. who had a lot more and better rounded talent with still a good chance to get Culver. As said earlier now all we can hope for is that he plays well and puts a sock in mouth, but til then I am in not in love with this move.

    • mbonzo says:

      If the Yankees thought Jenkins and Cole would become better players they would have picked them. Clearly they think very highly of Culver.

      The only reason we think so highly of these picks is because of BAA and other baseball writers. I would rather have the Yankees FO, who spends millions and actually sees the competition, choose the prospect than BAA.

      • Also, you have to remember that signability is a huge factor in play here. The goal is not simply to take the best players, it’s to get as many good and great players as possible.

        Cole and Jenkins are great talents, but they also may demand big bonuses that would cause them to fall to our pick at #82 (well, at least Cole). Thus, not picking them at #32 and getting a different good upside talent who has a smaller price tag and is less likely to fall and gambling that one or two of the higher upside guys will still be there 50 picks later is a worthy gamble to take.

        If you take Cito at #32 and Cole at #82, you’re a genius. If you take Cole at #32, Cito’s not going to be there at #82, and now you’re trading a slightly better first round pick for a far worse second round pick.

        It’s a balancing act.

  20. Andrew Brotherton says:

    Chris Culver. BA- 561, OPS- 1.906, OBP-.633, Slug-1.273, 20BB, 2 SO, 9HR, 38RBI, 102B, 5 Triples, 33 Runs, in 66 at bats and 22 games. Fielding percentage- .933, 8 Errors, 71 Assists, 41 Putouts. Stats don’t lie.

  21. pat says:

    Without going into much detail, Lane Meyer talked to Oppenhemer and said people told DO (after they picked Cito) that he would not have made it to them in the 2nd round.

  22. Gonzo says:

    Just imagine if the Yanks pulled a Chicago Cubs and drafted whoever they drafted.

  23. Roger says:

    So this is the guy they get to replace jeet, a local kid, i kinda understand it.

  24. Ted Nelson says:

    Good call to the guy who was talking about Culver getting a personal call from Girardi earlier!

    Mike, I like your stuff, but how can you possibly say “there were definitely better players on the board?” That’s the kind of stuff I expect from mainstream media… This is the MLB draft… Albert Pujols wasn’t drafted until the 13th round… You can’t say anything definite about these kids. Were the hundreds of guys taken ahead of Pujols, Pettite, Posada, Piazza all “definitely” better than those guys? I’m willing to bet you wouldn’t have been happy had the Yankees taken one of those guys in the 1st, and you would have been wrong.

  25. Cecala says:

    I am trying to think of Sterling HR calls for Cito.

    “Mommacito!”

  26. ZZ says:

    It is pretty funny how few people understand the MLB Draft.

    The NFL mentality really has spread not only from knee jerk reactions during a 162 game season, but now even the draft.

    The MLB Draft is not like any other sport. There is no such thing as waiting on a guy until a later round to get a better “value” pick. Because that value as most of you all think is derived from Baseball America, which is nothing like the draft boards each team may have. Which means the “value” of taking a guy here or there based on a BA ranking is basically meaningless.

    The amount of information available on each player contrasts in a dramatic fashion to players eligible to the NFL Draft.

    The amount of information on each player contrasts dramatically even from team to team within Major League Baseball.

    Yet, the vast majority of fans buy into the same generic info that is fed to Law, BA, Baseball Prospectus, etc. from a relatively small group of people inside the baseball industry.

    Where do you think these guys get their info from? Do you think they are going out and scouting these guys even 1 time?

    The guys at BA, BP, and Law know basically nothing personally about the overwhelming majority of players eligible for the MLB Draft.

    The only thing that matters about Culver is that he was the top of the Yankees draft board.

    And unsurprisingly, reports are now coming out that 12 teams were interested in him. Including the Twins who have a great reputation for drafting and developing young talent and sent one of their top guys to watch him 2 times last week.

    MLB is a whole different animal than any other league and the draft is the most biggest representation of that.

    I would really be interested to see how many people know the % of player’s who make it to the big leagues and stick for any sort of real time.

    • ZZ says:

      Yikes, I said most biggest. Cross out the most there.

    • Reggie C. says:

      Okay. Two Yankees scouts go out. One goes up to Rochester, the other down to Florida to watch Nick Castellano. Both report back to Opp. What happened in that room that made Opp say: “we’ll go for Rochester kid. He’ll make it the bigs and contribute as a starter.”

      - I find it shocking that Opp can have Castellano drop to #32, and still stick with “his guy”.

      • Mike Axisa says:

        If only it was that simple.

        • Reggie C. says:

          Working On the premise that Opp wanted a HS bat, then doesn’t the equation get simpler. You eliminate all those HS and college pitchers dropping to 32, and you look solely at HS bats.

          What Opp had in front of him was the best HS bat in the 2010 class, and he said pass. My goodness…

          • poster says:

            He obviously didn’t think he was the best bat. Or perhaps he thought the bat of young Cito was good enough, combined with his defense and athleticism, that it more than made up for what he preceived to be a slight dropoff in hitting ability compared to Castellano.

            We don’t know all the factors that went into this decision.

          • Ted Nelson says:

            The Yankees have been scouting this kid for at least a year, when he was on their Area Code Games team… They didn’t send one scout out to see one game and then decide to take him.

      • pat says:

        Maybe the fact that Castellanos wants huge money. Money that is not comparable to his talent level.

      • ZZ says:

        This post only further proves the point that most fans do not understand the nature of the MLB draft.

        • Reggie C. says:

          I understand the draft isn’t over, but I’m reacting to this pick. I look forward to what picks are made tomorrow afternoon. I imagine Culver won’t go over-slot, so there’s room yet to pick a HS’er or DES dealing with wounded pride right about now.

          • I understand the draft isn’t over, but I’m reacting to this pick.

            My advice: stop doing that.

            It’s a horrible, horrible way of evaluating or examining an MLB draft.

            • Reggie C. says:

              I never said i’m evaluating the Yankees draft. I simply disapproved of this pick. That’s all. There’s commentary allowed on this thread for voicing reactions …

              • But it’s impossible to truly disapprove of this pick without conducting at least some sort of evaluation of the draft first.

                There’s commentary allowed everywhere for voicing reactions, but not all reactions are equally valid. Some are ill-formed in haste and fairly empty reactions, all things considered.

                • Ted Nelson says:

                  It’s also impossible to truly disapprove of a pick unless you’ve scouted the kid extensively.

                  As a lot of other posters have been saying, simply reading a few vague scouting reports that express some scout’s opinion on how the kid “projects” doesn’t do TOO much for you. At least not unless the kid was either Harper or hit .200 in HS.

          • ZZ says:

            It is not even about the draft as a whole.

            You don’t understand the nature of this pick and how the Yankees came to the decision to put this guy at the top of their board.

            All you are doing is regurgitating what Baseball America told you. And I bet you do not even know where BA got their info from on most of these players.

            • Reggie C. says:

              No one understands the nature of this pick , except Oppenheimer. Right.

              I dont understand this back lash against BA, Law, SIckels, and co.

              • MikeD says:

                The Yankees know more about Culver than BA, Law and Sickels. They have the resources to continually scout a player, which they do when they are looking at taking him as a high pick. Someone like Law may have never even seen Culver except for some video clips, and if he did see him it was probably only once.

                • Angelo says:

                  This.

                  I don’t know how much Law knew about Culver, but that’s beyond the point.

                  The Yankees scouting department clearly have a lot of information on Culver. Much more info than Law, BA, and others do. This was clearly the Yankees guy, and I’m sure they have plenty of reason for choosing him, even if the consensus says otherwise.

                • Mister Delaware says:

                  Klaw basically says lack of knowledge trumps “what a reach!” in his 1st round winners/losers column. He listed several quotes about the Cubs pick calling him a 4th/5th rounder or “not a priority” whereas with Cito, there were no negative quotes and he pointed out that we knew him best from the area code games. Hopefully a little more comes out later about teams in the 2nd ready to jump so we can put the whole “he would be there at 82″ theory to bed.

      • Okay. Two Yankees scouts go out. One goes up to Rochester, the other down to Florida to watch Nick Castellano.

        The Yankee scout who went to Rochester boards an Amtrak local train traveling at an average speed of 45 mph, making local stops at Clifton Springs, Syracuse, Cortland, Binghamton, Scranton, The Poconos, East Stroudsburg, East Orange, and Newark, with an average stopover time of 24.5 minutes. From Grand Central Station, he will take the NYCTA subway to YS3.

        The Yankee scout who went to Florida rents a car to scout Castellano, which he must return to the Orlando airport Hertz, then board a Delta flight to JFK, then take AirTrain to Grand Central Station and Metro North to YS3. The flight is first rerouted and then grounded at Dulles International Airport due to inclement weather and the scout is bumped to a Northwest flight into Newark, and he has to adjust his local transportation accordingly.

        Which scout arrives at YS3 first, and what is the mean air velocity of an unladen swallow?

    • JGS says:

      Picking a random draft that we would know by now if they were busts or not, I went to 2000

      There were 40 players selected in the first round or sandwich round in 2000.

      23 saw Major League time. Only four non-pitchers have seen 1000 ABs. Only three pitchers have pitched in 100 games (why doesn’t b-ref have IP in the stats they show on draft pages?).

      Only ten have positive WARs, and only six have WARs of more than 5.

      • Angelo says:

        Just shows how much luck is involved in scouting.

        Hey everyone lets take a lottery ticket! Hopefully a few of us make some cash! And maybe one of us will make some serious cash!

    • Ted Nelson says:

      “The only thing that matters about Culver is that he was the top of the Yankees draft board.”

      The only things that matter are a. that he actually signs and b. how he plays after he signs.

  27. Rob says:

    Perhaps this is the start of New York draft strategy. If so, expect this guy to be our next pick.

    http://www.americanchronicle.c...../145882030

  28. Ari g says:

    THE guy on ESPN churchill thinks that the pick means the yankees didn’t have money to go with a higher rated player

    anyone agree?

  29. Jamal G. says:

    Frank Pilere:

    Culver was evaluated high on their board and got stellar grades from the MLB Scouting Bureau this spring, grades that could have pushed him into the top 25

    • A.D. says:

      Sounds like JR Murphy 2.0

    • Angelo says:

      Interesting. I trust the Yankees, like I continue to say. Nice quote there. It’s a little bit more comforting knowing this.

      • Mister Delaware says:

        And its even easier to trust them going with a position that couldn’t be filled with a known prospect. An off-the-board HS pitcher or HS bat with Jenkins and Castellanos et all still around would have been far tougher to handle.

  30. Grit Storage says:

    It’s a bad pick. If a cold weather guy with no obvious plus tool (other than maybe throwing) up against weak competition and a sort of messed up family background can’t wait until the 2nd round (or later), then I don’t know who can. Yankees like him – great here’s hoping they’re not wrong. But absolutely no reason to be excited for this pick as it pretty much just a generic HS shortstop some scouts decided to dream on.

    • It’s a bad pick. If a cold weather guy with no obvious plus tool (other than maybe throwing) up against weak competition and a sort of messed up family background can’t wait until the 2nd round (or later), then I don’t know who can.

      Since numerous teams have indicated to numerous baseball insiders that they would have drafted Cito Culver with a pick somewhere between #33 and #82, then it looks like the correct answer is:

      B.) Grit Storage doesn’t know who can

      • Grit Storage says:

        I haven’t seen the links to the numerous baseball insiders saying any such thing. Not saying they don’t exist, I haven’t found them after a fairly diligent search – maybe TSJC can provide?

        • pat says:

          One is behind a pay wall at yankees.scout.com. Check my comment above. RE; Lane Meyer

          • Grit Storage says:

            I think you are over-reading that quote. I’ve read it too. One non-Yankee scout says something to the effect that that MAYBE it wasn’t a massive reach. PP is not known for trying to rip Yankee prospects, so if that’s the best they got… I think that says something too. Certainly not as clear a statement as TSJC made out. I assume he must have meant something else and I await the links to “numerous baseball insiders.” I’ll keep looking on my own too.

    • Ted Nelson says:

      Hmmm… Derek Jeter = cold weather guy with no obvious plus tool… Is Kalamazoo really known for its tough HS baseball comp? He probably could have waited till round 2 as well…

      Not saying Culver’s the next Derek Jeter, but he could be. I mean seriously… All the information you provide is completely irrelevant if not outright wrong.

      It’s not that “some scout” decided to “dream on” this kid: they had him on their Area Code Games team a year ago. He’s been on their radar for a while.

      • Grit Storage says:

        It’s a laugable, massive overdraft. Sure he could be the next Derek Jeter – just like every 5’9″ RHP in the world can be the next Greg Maddux or every 40+ year old left hander can be the next Jamie Moyer. This guy would have been around in the 2nd round (or later). The only person saying otherwise is the guy who took him at 32 (Oppenheimer) and he has a vested interest in not having this pick appear laughable. And if he happened to have been taken before the next pick who cares anyways? There’s tons of other mid-size guys without any plus tools that we can pretend will be the next Derek Jeter.

  31. Ari g says:

    O right forgot, that was like last year right, btw if anyone is wondering what i was talking about i copied and pasted it from insider

    No. 32: Cito Culver to the New York Yankees
    Churchill: The Yankees may have reached here with Culver, who seems to be a second-day talent, and may not even be a SS in the end. Clearly, the Yankees just don’t have the money to spend.

  32. Mike Axisa says:

    I have to say, this pick certainly reaffirms the organizational philosophy of “we don’t give a shit what you guys think, we’re going to do what we want.”

    I have to say, I kinda dig that.

  33. CJ says:

    We should be like the Cincinatti Bengals and just use the medias scouting reports. Only hire one scout and buy him a subscription to BA.

  34. China Joe says:

    “There are some reports of a troubled home life regarding his parents but not Cito himself.”

    Judging by that photo, his parents are Carlos Beltran and Count Chocula.

  35. danny says:

    the yanks do a great job of keeping their business on the extreme DL, amazing considering the market they are in.

    • MikeD says:

      Agreed. If Culver’s name was tied to the Yankees in the weeks leading into the draft his ranking would have increased, something the Yankees didn’t want to have happen. There were some indications that he might have been selected before the Yankees next pick.

  36. tbord says:

    Looks like they drafted for need instead of best player available. I simply do not like Oppenheimer’s style or strategy. While some will point to his FEW success stories, the overall state of affairs in the minors right now is less than stellar. Much less than stellar. We should expect more disappointment tomorrow. Watch the Rays kick his butt tomorrow. Look at what the experts grade his draft.

    • Gonzo says:

      You do realize that the Rays have kicked everyone’s butts recently?

    • Tampa Yankee says:

      Watch the Rays kick his butt tomorrow.

      Did you now that from 1999 through 2010 the Rays had a draft pick in the top 8 every year but the last 2 years? It’s pretty simple to draft Josh Hamilton, BJ Upton, Evan Longoria, Delmon Young, Jeff Neimann, Rocco Baldelli and David Price when you have a top 8 pick but even they make mistakes signing like taking Beckham over Posey in 2008 given their need for a C right now or not being able to sign their first 2 picks from last year. The true test for that org is to see what happens when you have to draft late in the rounds where it’s more of a crap shoot.

      • bexarama says:

        And even if the Rays’ prospects from those rounds DON’T turn out as well as the others, it doesn’t mean they’re a bad organization and their scouting directors don’t know what they’re doing. After the first few picks, I’d imagine it’s kind of a crapshoot. And, well, frankly, I’d rather have the last pick every year than the first one, if you know what I mean.

  37. YankeesJunkie says:

    I don’t like the pick, but it is time to root for this guy and see how this move looks 2,3,5,and 10 years from now. Hopefully, the Yankees get some good talent with their next few dozen picks.

  38. poster says:

    For some reason I feel really optimistic. I love when the Yankees get high upside middle infielders (if anybody mentions Angelini I murder their family in cold blood, then pin it on them. You have been warned*.).

    *Before you guys arrest me or drop the banhammer, yes, I’m joking. My guess is you’d probably know that already but I want to be sure.

  39. Meat Loaf says:

    One more time before I go to bed…

    I am thrilled with this pick.
    I am thrilled with the future for Cito.
    I am thrilled I get to see a kid on my hometown play on my favorite sports team. (Okay, in the organization)

    Not thrilled with the bridgejumpers. Jeez, people, give him a chance.
    Not thrilled on how people will be butchering the name of my hometown.

    • Angelo says:

      At least there was a lot more optimism in this thread, compared to the last one. People were being ridiculous before.

      • Meat Loaf says:

        True. I think I get a little pissy because I know the crap he has overcome and I know this is his dream, and I genuinely believe he’s got a shot.

    • Tampa Yankee says:

      I’m sorry but every time I see your name I just think of Will Farrell in Wedding Crashers yelling at his mom to bring him some meatloaf. Maybe that’s just me.

  40. bonestock94 says:

    I think it’s silly to make much of a judgment call now on draft picks. Too many busts from early rounds and stars from later ones. Just let it play out and watch how the guys pan out in the minors.

  41. bexarama says:

    I’ve seen some people quick to dub this another C.J. Henry pick, but the only similarities between the two are that they’re African American shortstops taken out of high school.

    Yeah but that makes them exactly the same. /MSM’d

  42. Dela G says:

    boy the moronic trolls are out tonight

    funny how i called that the yanks would choose a toolsy shortstop in the first round yesterday, though ;)

    http://riveraveblues.com/2010/.....ent-912529

  43. Dave says:

    Let’s see, Culver’s dad went to jail for burning down his own house. Slade Heathcott’s dad and mom went to jail for selling crack – is this a check mark for Yankee scouts?

    I’m sure the Yankees know Culver better than anyone else; he was on their Area Code Games team last summer, but couldn’t they have picked him up in Round 2 and gotten one of the premium guys still on the board?

  44. Kyle says:

    Cito is the man i have played with him a long time and he is 1 of the greatest players i have seen. better than kids on East Cobb and other elite teams. he just isnt black he is also puerto rican. writer needs to get his facts straight

  45. Pete says:

    Guys (and gals), it’s really this simple – what we know about pre-draft prospects is almost nothing. Just because we’ve heard of guys like Castellanos and Cole and Renaudo and we haven’t heard of Cito Culver doesn’t mean that the guys we’ve heard of are better. And furthermore, it doesn’t mean that Culver would have fallen had we not picked him.

    The amount of information that guys like Sickels and Law and BA and BP compile is incredibly small compared to the amount of information to which MLB teams have access. A lot of people are saying “well sure, the Yankees may know a lot about him and really like him, but other teams don’t, so he would have fallen.” That’s absolute bullshit. I’d be willing to bet that all 30 teams had a decent amount of information about him, at least 15-20 had scouted him extensively, and at least 10 were very high on him. I base all of that only on the fact that the yankees drafted him in the first round, but that’s probably more worthwhile evidence than the mere fact that his name was unfamiliar to pretty much everybody here.

    Nobody here has any idea whether MLB organizations (which I think most would agree know more about the subject than we do) in general considered Culver to be a better prospect than the guys still on the board when he was taken. Major League clubs can spend millions upon millions of dollars on amateur scouting. They can send a guy up to watch a guy play for an entire season in Rochester. BA/BP/KLaw/Sickels/etc. don’t have those kind of resources. They rely, for the most part, on scouting hot-bed baseball areas, tournaments, and showcases. While all of those are useful, none offer a complete look at american amateur talent.

  46. andrew colin says:

    Didn’t oppenheimer pick cj henry, that worked out? How about Gerrit Cole? That worked out. NOt one of the major scouting groups had this kid in the top 100. If oppenheimer had a great track record one could give him the benefit of the date. But he doesn’t. Already reading article how great the red sox did. Sick of this. What does Opponheinmer have on Cashman?

    • Tampa Yankee says:

      How about Gerrit Cole?

      Cole is the type of player the Yanks should go after. A big time arm that has signability concerns. The Yanks took a shot and couldn’t get it done, that happens. That resulted in us getting Slade so I’m ok with it. Would it have been great to have Cole? Yes sir but it’s hard to get those types of arms when you are always picking in the latter part of the 1st round so you take that chance.

      NOt one of the major scouting groups had this kid in the top 100.

      Same can be said of JR Murphy but that worked out.

      • A.D. says:

        Same can be said of JR Murphy but that worked out.

        You’re not alone in using this argument, but I wouldn’t say that Murphy has “worked out” just yet given hes played ~20 games in A ball and hasn’t really done anything yet.

    • YanksFan says:

      Since Henry was traded for Abreu, I’ll say it worked out.

    • A.D. says:

      How about Gerrit Cole? That worked out.

      Well Cole has gone on to only impress in college, meanwhile the Yanks got Heathcott, who is probably a better pick or just as good as the guys that went shortly after Cole (outside of Casey Kelly, which time will tell on).

    • Yea says:

      Huh ZZ,

      I think B.A. knows a litle something about baseball.They only been around 30 years, so what should they know about baseball Huh.That is a real dumb comment being that they are always interviewing scouts and farm systems all time.That’s how they you get all of this informantion on a player!!This was a dumb pick you couls have easily picked this kid up in much ,much later rounds.Pitching, Pitching and more Pitching becasue it takes years to develop a very,very good pitcher.A.K.A Phil Hughes he’s just now coming on his own, which great but look how many years it took1A player like Cito can be found in little village in the Dom. or any other Latino country,it was not a wise move at all.Chalk him up with the C.J Henrys ,Eric Duncans,John Ford Griffith’s of the world.You have to go by Ippihmeyers track record and it just has not been good.Plain and simple.

  47. theyankeewarrior says:

    As far as upside goes, I think many have under estimated his potential to hit for power.

    Culver hit 9 HRs in 66 at-bats this season while being pitched around and intentionally walked. I watched him play basketball all winter with my little cousin and he has room to put on another 10-15 pounds of muscle easily.

    What is slot for the 32nd pick? Anyone know?

    BTW, Culver fell down last night when OPP called him to inform him of the pick.

    • Tampa Yankee says:

      If this kid can become a Andrus type player that’d be fantasic. Not every SS needs the power of ARod or Tulo or Hanley or even Jeter. Omar Vizquel has had a good career with his average bat and great D. Let’s all just see what this kid develops into. Who knows what will happen once he’s allowed to train with professionals. Maybe he adds some size and develops some more power but like I said if he can turn into an Andrus type player, I’m good.

    • Rick in Boston says:

      I’m not sure on slot, but the Rockies signed Tim Wheeler for 900k as the #32 pick last year. I believe that was below slot, though, as the Rockies wanted to save money after spending 3 million-plus on their other first rounder.

    • Mister Delaware says:

      He fell down? That can’t be a good sign, probably means even more balls getting through up the middle in our future.

  48. CountryClub says:

    “He definitely, 100 percent, jumps out at you when you see him field and throw a baseball,” an opposing coach told the Rochester newspaper. “You would say ‘Wow.’ He’s that good, that kind of player… I tell you what, he’s the most-regarded position player from around here in a long, long time, in terms of being able to make it at the next level.”

    http://yankees.lhblogs.com/201.....ut-at-you/

  49. Still not a huge fan of the pick, as it seems more safe than what I’d prefer the Yankees to do in the first round, but they obviously know more about this guy than I/we do.

  50. yoo-boo says:

    5 11, 6, 6 1, 6 2 in height? Which one is accurate?

    “Easy Decision” = conservative pick.

    When drafted out of HS, he has better skill set than Derek Jeter so I hope he sticks at SS. Yankees have 3 untapped talent of SS in DSL now. That means SS is still not stacked. Getting college SS today is a must depending on right value, of course.

    I would like to see Yanks draft at least HS Ps Rowland and Duke and College SS Lemmermen and McAloose today. Those among with whoever has high upside/signability risk.

    I really hate Red Sox. They actually used two Round A picks on two top 15 prospects. Damn.

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