Jun
07

Yanks draft Cito Culver in the first round

By

Surprising just about everyone, the Yankees selected Cito Culver, a high schooler out of the Rochester, New York, area, with their first round draft pick tonight. While Bud Selig announced Culver as a short stop, the Yankees’ PR team initially called him a right-handed pitcher but later clarified Culver as a short stop. Scouts believe Culver’s value lies at short.

Interestingly, Culver was projected to go in the fourth-to-sixth round range, and his choice is certainly raising some eyebrows among Yankee-watchers. Here’s MLB.com’s draft profile:

Culver is a switch-hitter who’s better from the left side of the plate, showing more bat speed from that side. He has some gap-to-gap power right now. He looks like he should have above-average speed, but his run times haven’t been great and he’s better underway. At times, scouts have questions [sic] his effort level on the field, though they don’t question his natural gifts. He has the tools, especially his arm strength, to perhaps stay at shortstop, though a move to center field would make some sense. He has a Maryland commitment, but there was some buzz that he’d be willing to forego that for the right price.

Mike will have a full player profile ready to go shortly, and I’m left wondering if the Yanks aimed low in the first round to go after a few signability guys in the later rounds. Remember, though, that Culver was born on August 26, 1992. He won’t turn 18 until after the signing date, and it’s nearly impossible to know now what he ceiling will be.

Categories : Draft
  • http://www.thechuckknoblog.com/ JobaWockeeZ

    You know I wouldn’t mind a guaranteed 2011 pick over this kid if he doesn’t sign…

    • http://www.teamnerdrage.com dr mrs the yankee

      You have to make a legit tender to get the comp pick. There is no way a Maryland commit who wasn’t on anyone’s radar (except Oppenheimer’s) turns down a legit first round tender.

      • Gonzo

        Even if that’s the case, you get a guy you like for a slot tender, and can spend like crazy in later rounds.

        • http://www.teamnerdrage.com dr mrs the yankee

          I realize this but that wasn’t my point.

          • Gonzo

            I know. My point is that here is more than one way to see a situation.

            • http://www.teamnerdrage.com dr mrs the yankee

              What are you trying to show me, exactly? I was pointing out that it’s extremely unlikely that he’s not going to sign.

              I am currently stunned and confused by this pick but if the Yankees had wanted to grab someone they thought they couldn’t sign they would have gone with Austin Wilson.

              • Gonzo

                Maybe they went with the best player available on their board? Sounds kooky, doesn’t it?

              • Mike

                It is kinda funny when people think they know more about prospects and drafts than professionals. Im gonna trust someone who is paid to scout for a living 100 times out of 100. Will it work out in their favor all the time? No. But you can bet there’s more of a method to their madness than yours

                • http://www.thechuckknoblog.com/ JobaWockeeZ

                  And the funny thing is the scouts of BA are also paid. I see that argument a lot and I’ll agree to an extent but there are paid scouts not on teams.

                  • Mister Delaware

                    Certainly, but BA as a whole still amounts to a singular opinion versus the singular opinion of the Yankees staff as a whole.

                • Year Dragon

                  Huh,
                  Mike do mean like the same experts that’s picked Eric Duncan,C.J. Henry,John Ford Griffith,Andrew Brackman and it goes on and on.It’s a realll dumb pick.You never go for a projectable postion player on your first round pick.It’s always pitching ,pitching and more pitching.It’s bad enought that the Yankees pick dead last! A waste of a 1 pick on a player rated 182 by B.A. who r experts too.What a dumb ,dumb pick.U can pickup a player of this caliable in any international draft there a dime dozen!

      • http://www.thechuckknoblog.com/ JobaWockeeZ

        I wouldn’t say he wasn’t on anyone else’s radar. But yeah he’ll likely sign.

  • poster

    If this works out the Yanks look like genii.

  • Henry

    Im stunned…so many players on the board.. AJ Cole, Austin Wilson, Stetson Allie, Nick Castellanos, Peter Tago, Anthony Ranaudo. But we picked somebody who we could had in the 3rd/4th round. Oppenhiemer needs to be held accountable.

    • Gonzo

      Don’t criticize the cuisine before it’s served!

      • Angelo

        This.

        • http://twitter.com/marcos_aguirre Marcos

          True, although it certainly seems odd to pick this guy over some of the available players. I hope Opp’s gut feeling/scouting info is right.

          • Gonzo

            Mike Rizzo has a story about drafting an unknown Kentucky pitcher well over 100 slots earlier than projected because he believed his eyes and his scouts. He loves telling that story about Brandon Webb.

            I mean how sh*tty would you feel if you “knew” about Brandon Webb and waited only to have some other team pick him 3 slots before when he was supposed to fall to you?

      • YankeeJosh

        I don’t think that’s what he’s doing. If the Yankees see something here, I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. But why take a player who will be available in the next few rounds. Take Culver later and go for one of the top 30ish guys you like best with 32.

        • Gonzo

          If he’s your best player on the board don’t sweat it out. Cash and D-Opp pay good money to scouts to just listen to KLaw and Callis.

        • Mike

          Thats pretty flawed logic. Who’s to say the Yankees were the only team to value you as more than a 3rd or 4th rounder? Maybe a bunch of teams were targeting him in 1a or 2

    • Year Dragon

      I agree Henry u always go for picthing!!! Why waste it on a guy with a spotting history and a guy who would have dropped way down to pickup.It just doesn’t make sense?Even the annoucers on the M.L.B. network didn’t even know how to repond to this pick.It’s time for Oppenhiemer to checkout and hit the next Grayhound out of town.This guy is a bad Minor league director!He’s made numerous bad first rounds picks in the last decade,just look at his track record.

  • http://yanksdraftsandprospects.blogspot.com/ Jake H

    Aaron Fitt is saying a good pick. Little high but probably has a 65 arm and good action at SS. Also what I like is he won’t be 18 until August.

    • Reggie C.

      Can the kid hit though?

      Angellini had all the above working for him (good arm and SS actions) and look at what happened there. This pick has doomed Oppenheimer.

      • http://yanksdraftsandprospects.blogspot.com/ Jake H

        Scouts were split on Angellini. Some thought that he was only going to be a bench player. More scouts thought he wasn’t as good as the Yankees thought.

      • http://www.thechuckknoblog.com/ JobaWockeeZ

        Ceiling is a 275-285 player form what MLB Bonus Baby says. Bets power year from him is 10 homers.

        • http://www.thechuckknoblog.com/ JobaWockeeZ

          .275 being average wise for clarification.

          • http://yanksdraftsandprospects.blogspot.com/ Jake H

            I like Andy a lot but projecting players is hard.

            • Angelo

              Especially a 17 year old.

      • poster

        What’s your point? Because one guy didn’t work out the way the Yanks hoped now none of their risky picks will ever work out ever again?

  • S.King

    worst pick of the 2010 draft for the next 4 years until he is a lights-out…uh….pitcher?….shortstop?…..utility man?…..

    yikes.

    • http://twitter.com/marcos_aguirre Marcos

      He will be the greatest shortstop/relief pitcher out there! He’ll play short until the 7th or 8th inning and then he’ll take the mound and set up for Mo/our closer!!!!!!!!

      /probablynot’d

      • http://www.thechuckknoblog.com/ JobaWockeeZ

        Only if the Sox picked him.

        • Gonzo

          They already have Casey Kelly.

  • Hector

    what a shitty pick

    • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

      I take it you and everyone else utterly slamming this pick have seen Culver play and aren’t just parroting a bunch of other people who’ve never seen Culver play, right?

      It’s not a traditional pick. It’s not what I would have done. But there must be something behind it, and few of us are in a position to say definitively what that is. It definitely puts pressure on both the later rounds and Damon Oppenheimer.

      • Henry

        The kid might be a great player, but he is a 3rd/4th round pick. The most is a second round pick.

        • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

          Again, I ask: You know this how? Because you scouted him or because someone else told you that?

          • Henry

            Im not saying this kid bad just saying we could have pick him in other rounds.

            • http://yanksdraftsandprospects.blogspot.com/ Jake H

              How do you know that? If you know that for sure then I’m sure that the Yankees scouting department does since this is what they do for a living. Damon Opp is a pretty smart guy I trust him.

            • Poopy Pants

              SSS!!!

              • http://twitter.com/dpatrickg Dirty Pena

                Jammy Jammers, is that you? Didn’t see you on the Javy recap last night…

          • Gonzo

            You know what, these guys bellyaching are Mel Kiperized! This is the same visceral reactions NFL fans have. The NFL draft has ruined the MLB draft!

    • Jay

      I think we all need to trust that Opp knows what he’s doing. You draft best available. It’s a long way to their nextick. If this is what they deem best, I think the regime has earned the right to have our faith. People had the same issues with J.R. Murphy last year. Everyone thought it was a waste. Now people want more Slades and Murphy’s.

      Who knows what sign ability kid might be there later… I didn’t watch the sandwich round, but Austin Wilson was falling. You never know.

  • Angelo

    I don’t know if I should be intrigued or dissapointed by the Yankees choice. Either way, I trust Oppenheimer, Towers, and Cash. They know what they’re doing.

    • Pete

      I’d have to go with intrigued

      • Angelo

        I’m a little of both. Castellanos was looking good, but I believe the Tigers just took him.

        The Yankees have to know what they’re doing though. They wouldn’t just take this guy if his projection was crap.

  • Hector

    just my opinion bc there was so much talent still on the board

  • Meat Loaf

    Guys, Culver can play. Relax. Irondequoit (Eye – Ron – Deh – Kwite) is collectively shitting it’s pants because we all know the kid has the tools.

    He has dealt with a lot of personal issues and is still a fantastic player. He sees plenty of pitches and has developed power. His two grand slams in a game were absolute shots.

    I am so excited for him. He really deserves this.

    Also, Girardi has called him a couple of times, from what I understand.

    • Reggie C.

      Shitty NE competition makes Culver look like the Albert Pujols of his league. Prepare for Angellini 2.0.

      Oppenheimer just doomed himself.

      Castellanos- off the board, btw.

      • Accent Shallow

        Oppenheimer just doomed himself.

        Wait, really?

        • Reggie C.

          Totally.

          Instead of lesser signability guys like Tago, AJ Cole, Jenkins, or Wojich, Oppenheimer opted for the Albert Pujols of upstate NY. This system needed BPA. I can absolutely say that Culver doesnt come close.

          • Pete

            you can’t absolutely say anything whatsoever about Culver, because he’s 17 years old. but chances are, whatever the yankees can say is probably worth a hell of a lot more than whatever you can say

          • Accent Shallow

            This might be a bad pick (I have no idea either way. I see no point in getting hyped about HS kids until they’ve at least played professionally), but unless the rest of the draft is bad, Oppenheimer is probably safe.

            And what if the rest of the draft contains tons of signability picks?

            I wasn’t even aware Oppenheimer was on the hot seat.

      • poster

        Oh, you’ve seen him?

        How’s his swing? His fielding good? What’s your opinion on his arm?

        • Reggie C.

          No. Didnt know they played baseball in rochester.
          Looks pretty level on film.
          Probably good.
          Good enough to be SS and a reliever on his team, so its probably decent.

          • poster

            Oh, you’ve never seen him?

            And yet, what you know about him is that he has a level swing and a good arm?

            In other words, you really know nothing at all about him, right? You just assume he’s a bad pick?

            • http://www.thechuckknoblog.com/ JobaWockeeZ

              Obviously his opinion isn’t out of thin air. I know what you’re trying to say and yes it is wayy wayy wayyy to early to think about this pick but based on the information currently available the pick seems like a reach.

              • poster

                I would say that except I don’t have the resources the Yankees have and have not watched him, like, at all. And I’m sure the Yankees have, like, STUDIED this kid. It’s way too early to make any sort of opinion. It’s not like the Yanks pulled this out of their hat either.

                • http://twitter.com/dpatrickg Dirty Pena

                  And I’m sure the Yankees have, like, STUDIED this kid.

                  Easy now, everyone knows all 30 teams draft based on the paragraphs that Keith Law and BA write.

      • Angelo

        Are you leading the “Culver is a bust” parade? You seem to know a lot about him. Can you give me a scouting report?

      • Pete

        so you can say for sure that castellanos is better than culver then, can you? Based on what, exactly?

    • Jay

      Meatloaf, is this the kid you know from your town that you were speaking of earlier? Or am I confusing you with another person?

  • Randy A.

    Ill be honest…I’m from rochester and I have never heard of this kid…ever.

    • Accent Shallow

      My condolences.

      On being from Rochester, that is. I’ve never heard of this kid, either.

    • Meat Loaf

      Then apparantly you don’t read the paper or watch the news.

    • http://twitter.com/dpatrickg Dirty Pena

      Ill be honest…I’m from New York and I had never heard of Pedro Alvarez when he was 17…ever.

      • Poopy Pants

        Don’t feel bad. Only pedophiles would know this stuff.

      • The Sandman

        I’m also from New York and Alvarez hit a monster home run against my high school when I was a freshman (2004).

  • http://yanksdraftsandprospects.blogspot.com/ Jake H

    If the Yankees sign the guy for below slot and blows up the rest of the draft are people are going to be eating there words?

    Oh ya Law also didn’t have anything on Austin Romine in the 07 draft. That pick seemed to have worked out pretty well.

  • http://www.myqivana.com/andrewcolin andrew colin

    WHO? WHAT?

  • dzop

    I don’t need to have seen the player play or know anything more than the publicly available information to know this is a miserable pick.

    FACT: The wisdom of the crowd is generally the most accurate
    FACT: This isn’t necessarily true if you have some great consensus-beating ability, but there’s -zero- evidence that Oppenheimer is better than an average drafter.
    FACT: Because of the higher predictability of free-agent hitting and the lesser incentive for young hitters to let their initial teams buy-out some of their FA years (because much less risk of career-altering injury), there is a better supply of hitters on the FA market and even if the $/WAR ratio is the same, the variance in the expected WAR from free agent pitchers is much, much higher. So the Yankees should be emphasizing PITCHING early in the draft.
    FACT: Study after study have shown that 1st round talent is under priced relative to expected return, even if you add a million or two to buy a guy off a scholly. The Yanks should be leveraging their revenue advantage in the draft, and not be scared off by the Cole fiasco.
    FACT: This pick FAILS EVERY ATTRIBUTE OF WHAT THE YANKEES SHOULD BE DOING IN THE DRAFT. THIS IGNORES THE TALENT STILL ON THE BOARD WHEN THE PICK WAS MADE OR THE PROBABILITY THEY COULDA GOT THE GUY LATER. IT IS INDEFENSIBLE, EVEN IF HE TURNS INTO A GOOD PROSPECT. IT IS A FAILURE ON BASIC PRINCIPLES.

    • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

      You’re forgetting that the Yanks still have plenty of other picks to use on signability guys who drop from the top rounds. If the Yanks aimed low for the first round so they can use money on guys other teams can’t afford, you’ll forget Culver existed.

      Also, you’re forgetting the international free agent signing period opening up in four weeks. The Yanks are more willing to spend money there too.

      Look, I don’t love the pick, but that’s mostly because I don’t know much about him and the guys who do aren’t high on some 17 year old. But I know that historically, the final picks of the first round don’t amount to much, and the Yanks have a lot riding on this. There’s no reason to jump off a bridge because one player the Yanks draft might not be who we want him to be. He won’t make or break the franchise.

      • dzop

        I’m not jumping off a bridge. I’m pointing out that its a bad pick, not based upon OUTCOME, but based upon the animating logic.

        Even if you’re going to go for buy-off guys with your later picks, given the exponential fall-off in value per pick, don’t you want to make your biggest investment- the buy-off pick- as early as possible? And this isn’t 2005–lots of teams are wise to the value in the draft and the best guys with firm commitments aren’t falling as far as they used to. Further, it’s not like this guy is going to come super cheap: at least according to MLBN and BA, he’ll eventually sign but he’ll need to be bought off Maryland. Hell, there were plenty of junior collegiate bats if you wanted to pay slot.

        Further, I haven’t even brought into the equation the recent track record with US position player prospects: abysmal. There’s no evidence those guys are doing a competent job with player evaluation out of Romine, but one blind squirrel, meet nut.

        If the pick reflects a reallocation of resources to internationals, I’m equivocal about that. On the one hand, I trust that side of the scouting folks a lot more than the North American scouts. OTOH, study after study show that there’s value to be had in the draft, particularly in the first 3 rounds, if you’re a competent drafter. If the Yanks don’t trust Oppenheimer such that they’re allocating resources away from him, why does he still have a job?

        I mean, this isn’t David Parrish, but still- you can’t honestly argue that you support the THOUGHT PROCESS that leads to this pick.

        • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

          you can’t honestly argue that you support the THOUGHT PROCESS that leads to this pick.

          Same question: Do you know what the Yanks’ thought process was? Were you in their pre-draft meetings or their draft day war room? I’m going to guess that you weren’t. Until we know more about that, we can’t really pass judgment on this pick based upon your assumptions about what other people are saying about the pick.

          Again, not in love with it but not jumping to wild conclusions just yet.

          • dzop

            There are a limited number of options for their thought process, right? We know he’s a consensus third rounder. He played in a relatively low-scouted region, but he was someone who was “on the radar screen” of Baseball America and such. This isn’t a Heyward or Pedro Alvarez situation, where you had a guy playing in such a weak league that it was hard to get a read on his capabilities. Essentially, the Yankees had to have thought, “everyone else has scouted him, and they think X, but they are wrong.” If Larry Beinfest wants to make that assertion, fine. Hell, if Andy Friedman wants to make that assertion, I can buy it. But what has Damon Oppenheimer done with position players over the last few drafts that empowers him to such arrogance?

            It seems that you’re implying that the Yanks have some private information about Culver that the other teams aren’t privy to- if that’s the case, I’ll retract my criticism. I just find that extremely unlikely.

            • Jay

              But you can’t argue thought process when byou don’t know what it is. You have a NO IDEA what their plan is. None of us, nor KLaw, nor Callis, etc… do. Maybe they are going extremely cheap in the draft, willing to get additional high picks next year (I don’t believe this, I’m just proving a point) in a deeper draft. Maybe they save every penny and spend 15 million on the IFA before they become part of the draft as well.

              The point is, we don’t know. There is Opp and Kevin Towers, plus their IFA team that are highly successful in developing prospects. But because you read something, YOU ARE NOT AN EXPERT. THEY ARE.

            • whozat

              “It seems that you’re implying that the Yanks have some private information about Culver that the other teams aren’t privy to- if that’s the case, I’ll retract my criticism. I just find that extremely unlikely.”

              A little heralded kid from NY, two way player with a big arm. The Yankees recently hired one of the best evaluators of young pitching in the game.

              You can’t envision a scenario where Towers is like “Look, this kid has a lot of projection in this arm. Sure, he wants to hit and play SS, but he’ll be disabused of that notion by like…Low-A. Couple of other organizations are on this kid, looking to steal a power arm with a slot bonus. Get him”

              • dzop

                Even if the scenario you describe is true, its going to be, what, 2 years before he converts, right? He’s 17.5 years old and from the northeast, so even if he signs quickly (no guarantee) he’s going to probably play rookie ball this year. Which means, presuming he doesn’t tear up the GCL, he’ll be in Charleston in 2011.

                So he starts pitching in 2010, totally raw, having not pitched in 2 years. If you want him to reliever thats not such a big deal if he fills out and touches mid 90’s–but who wants to piss away a first rounder on a reliever? If he’s going to start, he’ll need 3-5 years in the minors AFTER converting, presuming he’s a typical very good prospect.

                Now that presents two issues. First off, if he doesn’t progress quickly as a pitcher you’re going to have to add him to the 40 man early or lose him to Rule 5. Second, you’ve just pushed out his arrival time 2 extra years down the road 5 years minimum, probably closer to 7–and the road for HS guys is long enough as is.

                You may throw out Casey Kelly as a counterexample. But that’s a very different scenario. Kelly was physically very developed for a high scholler (6’3 195), Culver is undeveloped (6’1 167). Kelly was polished, Culver is raw. And even if Culver’s upside is Casey Kelly, I’m not convinced Kelly is all that and a glass of milk.

          • feasor

            With all due respect, I must agree with dzop. He at least has articulated a value system, and applied it to the limited facts that we have. All Ben is saying is that no one knows anything (so no one should post anything?). Way to lead a vibrant discussion, Ben.

        • poster

          I don’t know the thought process that led to the pick, so how can I say whether or not I support it or not?

      • Reggie C.

        You wouldn’t have preferred a top notch HS arm , that could’ve been converted to a relief pitcher but still have contributed to the ML team ?

        Allie, Tago, Jenkins … The pick didn’t have to turn out to be an ace starter, but these kids had the goods to at least become effective relievers. All i’m trying to say … there is most definite value at the 32 slot in the first round. Opp didn’t optimize it having read major scouting publications.

    • poster

      Your first “fact” lost you all credibility.

      • Gonzo

        Let’s all get our pitchforks!

      • http://twitter.com/dpatrickg Dirty Pena

        What are you talking about? The wisdom of the crowd is always right! I mean, just look at Germany in 1933…

        • Grit Storage

          Wow. See Goodwin’s Law.

          So rarely does it need to be invoked in MLB draft discussions that it suggests this must be a historically bad pick.

    • Angelo

      If he turns into a good prospect none of this matters.

    • Chris

      From what I have seen, it’s not clear that the Yankees drafted him to be a SS and not a pitcher. When there are questions about his hitting and the PR department initially calls him a pitcher, maybe that’s where the Yankees see him. Of course, if they tell him he won’t play SS then he’ll (apparently) be less likely to sign.

      Assuming this is true, it reminds me a lot of Casey Kelly.

    • Tampa Yankee

      FACT: The wisdom of the crowd is generally the most accurate

      Yup cause that seemed to work out well for Communism and the Nazis

      • Marcus

        Not to mention the recent housing bust, the previous internet stock bust, etc. etc.

      • http://twitter.com/dpatrickg Dirty Pena

        Scroll fail on my part.

    • Accent Shallow

      FACT: The wisdom of the crowd is generally the most accurate

      The problem with this line of thinking is that these (HS kids) are years away from the big leagues. Even if he doesn’t look like a world beater now, who knows where he is in 2013. Maybe he’s Carmen Angelini, but maybe he’s Derek Jeter.

      FACT: [snip]So the Yankees should be emphasizing PITCHING early in the draft.

      I’ll go with “best player available”. Since the scouts/draft mavens appear flummoxed, clearly Oppenheimer and co. have a different idea of what that is. Maybe they’re right, maybe they aren’t, but the fact that he’s not a pitcher isn’t the end of the world.

    • nolan

      so many non facts you just posted here.
      – crowds don’t have wisdom. Individuals do.
      – Crowds tend to be WRONG. Take a look at the stock market. How do you think the average investor does?
      – Damon Oppenheimer’s past draft choices have NOTHING to do with Culver. They are totally independent events that are not connected in any way shape or form. You and Oppenheimer cannot predict the future.
      – Yes they probably should emphasize PITCHING …unless of course they feel that the pitching available in the draft is simply not good. I pitched in college. Would you rather have me or Culver?

  • http://fmylife.com JobaJr

    Born on my birthday, same year too. Good sign?

  • Tampa Yankee

    Man I hate Yankee fans sometimes. I’m sure all of you bitching have done the extensive scouting on this kid or the other “possible choices” that the FO has. STFU until you’ve seen what the kid can do over the next 4-5 yrs and even then it may be too soon. The people bitching are probably the same ones who are calling Jesus a bust and the profile is a jinx. Put down the gun and step back from the ledge. IIRC Robbie wasn’t considered anything special when he was brought up and now look at him. Pujols was drafted in the 13th round out of Comm. College. Get the F over yourselves!

    /rant’d

  • Pete

    It’s funny how much people will shit on a pick when they know nothing about it. The only reason people think Cole or Renaudo or Wilson would have been better picks is because they’ve heard of them. But chances are, every team in baseball knew about Culver, even if you didn’t. And they also probably have a much better idea than anybody here about what kind of talent he may have, along with Cole and Wilson and Allie and the others.

    This reminds me a lot of the J.R. Murphy pick last year. Nobody knew who he was, so they assumed that the other 29 teams in baseball didn’t either, and that it was therefore a dumb pick regardless of the player’s actual talent because he obviously would have fallen. But the fact is, very, very few pre-draft prospects get any public hype whatsoever. Even less so for H.S. players, and even less so still for H.S. players not playing for big-time schools. So just because you haven’t heard of him until now doesn’t mean his upside is, as was so eloquently put by some bridge-jumper in the chat, “Ramiro Pena”.

    • Greg G.

      +1

      Says here, 12 teams inquired about Culver: http://www.democratandchronicl.....0105070318

      Twelve MLB teams, just to clarify.

      • http://www.thechuckknoblog.com/ JobaWockeeZ

        Oh shit his dad is in jail…

        But if the young Culver gets drafted, his father, Christopher Culver Sr., will only be able to enjoy it at a distance. He 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.

        Probably could have been had in a later round. Whatev.

        • Greg G.

          Well, Heathcott still went in the 1st round. And Joba went in the first round as well. Both had parents with legal issues.

          • http://www.thechuckknoblog.com/ JobaWockeeZ

            Heathcott is a legit 5 tool player. If it wasn’t for the parents he might have taken sooner. Joba wasn’t a first rounder. He was a supplemental pick and weren’t there injury concerns that made him fall too?

            I mean even without the dad thing for Culver he could have been had in the second round.

            • Mister Delaware

              Altruistic drafting is the new OBP.

            • Mister Delaware

              “I mean even without the dad thing for Culver he could have been had in the second round.”

              You can’t possibly know whether or not Culver would fall another 50 picks. You know you can’t. 3 hours ago you would have “guaranteed” that Asher Wojciechowski would be drafted over Hayden Simpson. You know what Klaw and Callis and the rest tell you.

              • http://www.thechuckknoblog.com/ JobaWockeeZ

                Of course not. It’s no sure thing but it’s just my view. Which is why I never said “guaranteed” anywhere.

                • Mister Delaware

                  The point was that your statement that he would have been there in the 2nd is based on nothing. You have no idea if Texas absolutely loved him in the 2nd round.

        • Meat Loaf

          His Mom’s attitude is amazing for what she went through. And Sr. got off easy – he was trying to kill his wife.

          • http://www.thechuckknoblog.com/ JobaWockeeZ

            That sucks. I feel for the guy.

            • Meat Loaf

              I think it drove Cito though. When my Cousin was the captain of his team, Cito was great – but I thought he didn’t look like he really wanted it. Went to a couple games this year, three years later, and he had some amazing plays and really looked passionate. Overall, a great kid. And he’s met Jeter, which is awesome.

              • Raf

                they did mention something about him seeming not totally committed at times after he was announced on MLB Network. makes sense with what you are saying.

    • http://theyankeeu.com Matt Imbrogno

      This reminds me a lot of the J.R. Murphy pick last year. Nobody knew who he was, so they assumed that the other 29 teams in baseball didn’t either, and that it was therefore a dumb pick regardless of the player’s actual talent because he obviously would have fallen

      That, too.

  • tbord

    Projected to go in the 4th to 6th round? What a bonehead reach. This coming from the greatest franchise in MLB history. This smacks of the Chris Smith fiasco. And Chris was from LA where they play ball all year round, not Rochester where the sample size is extremly limited, not to mention the level of play. Shame on oppenheimer.

    • 24fan

      Chris Johnson was projected to be a late 2nd-3rd round pick and the Titans got blasted for reaching by Kiper and all the other media. Turns out other teams were looking at him in the bottom of the 1st. Point is Keith Law has probably never seen this guy play and if 5-6 teams were thinking about this guy as a sandwich pick do you think they would tell the media? Or would they keep quiet and hope to steal him? Maybe it was a reach, but we really have no way of knowing that, especially 2 hours after the pick was made.

  • Xack

    Relax, I’m from the future and this kid goes down as the greatest to ever play the game. He will go on to win 5 MVPs, and be a part of 6 World Championship teams. The Baseball Hall of Fame is renamed the Cito Culver Baseball Hall of Fame in his honor.

    • http://www.thechuckknoblog.com/ JobaWockeeZ

      Only way that happens if the Yanks trade him as a center piece in a blockbuster deal for Casey Kelly.

      Then he’ll proceed to be a 5 MVP player.

    • Gonzo

      When does the housing and stock market rebound?

  • http://theyankeeu.com Matt Imbrogno

    At face value, I’m not a huge fan of this pick, but there’s no need to call it some terrible pick when the kid hasn’t even signed yet.

    • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

      This a lot.

    • Raf

      dont come to such a level headed conclusion so quickly. you can still get a good spot on the line to jump off the bridge!

      • http://theyankeeu.com Matt Imbrogno

        But if I rush and jump off, I’ll just land on people instead of water. I may as well wait until they’re cleared then jump off.

        • Angelo

          Haha ietc

        • http://www.soxandpinstripes.net JGS

          That’ll probably take a few days

      • http://twitter.com/dpatrickg Dirty Pena

        Nah, that line is miles long by now.

    • Reggie C.

      It’d be awesome if in fact Culver wasn’t signed. Sign Crawford in the offseason but still have a pick in the top 35.

      I second JobaWockeez’s initial reaction to the pick.

  • theyankeewarrior

    I’m from the town next to “Cito” or Chris. He is a great athlete who can really swing the bat. He hit a bunch of HRs this season (including one game where he had two grand slams and 12 RBI) and he has an awesome arm and glove from SS. He can throw in the low 90s, but as Mike said, his upside will come from SS or a potential switch to CF. He was a very talented basketball player.

    I don’t know if it makes sense to grab him at #32, but I can tell you that he was in contact with the Yankees this entire Spring, because they sent scouts to several of his games and he even fielded a phone call from Joe Girardi.

    My little cousin started with him on the basketball court this winter and hangs out with him regularly, so I get updates.

    • 24fan

      And I’m willing to bet almost none of the media guys watched him near as much as the Yankees did. Maybe it was a bad pick, but I’d rather the Yanks scout a guy extensively and go after him even if the media blasts them for it. If the Yankees start letting the media or fans guide their baseball decisions be prepared to root for a 3rd place team.

  • Tom Zig

    I’m not calling him a bust because that would be foolish. If this works out, well great then. It’s just that with the talent still on the board and the Yankees draft strategy, this pick is both confusing and a tad disappointing.

    • tbord

      This explains everything – Hal is too cheap to send his staff on a flight out to Cal, Az, or Tex, so he scouts the area where his people can drive to see the player – Wasn’t our last east coast wonder in the first round out of New Jersey, what’s his name? Duncan something or other? RIGHT!

  • pat

    This is so good for the RAB guys. It’s gonna drive traffic and comments through the roof.

    /Devils Advocate’d

    • Angelo

      Eh, I like it better when the level-headed commentors dominate the comments (most of the regulars.)

  • EB

    CJ Henry come on down

    • Accent Shallow

      Hey, CJ Henry became Bobby Abreu. No complaints.

  • Meat Loaf

    Dumb Question.

    Cito’s name is Christopher Culver. Is it true you can pick whatever name you want to be announced as?

    (His father is in Jail, might be why he wants a different name – because if you search “Christopher Culver” you get some stuff about his dad.)

    • Mike

      He got his nickname as a young kid. It has nothing to do with his father. I used play baseball with him when i was young

  • Tom Zig
    • Tom Zig

      The comment that this was in reply to got deleted. You could probably delete this one too.

  • http://msn.explorer dan

    how do you not choose stetson Allie?????? Yanks had the money to pay for this guy? yanks will regret not choosing this guy!!

    • pat

      Umm nobody chose Stetson Allie.. what does that tell you?

    • Tom Zig

      Just because he can throw hard doesn’t mean he knows where it is going.

    • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

      No one chose Stetson Allie Greatest Draft Pick Ever.

  • Chris

    Cito was on my high school baseball team with me he will do great.

    • Meat Loaf

      Ha, I was hoping this would get more people from Irondequoit on RAB. I was getting lonely.

  • http://www.facebook.com/adorador Ray Fuego

    I’ve seen this kid play, I live like two minutes from his HS, and he’s a great player, I personally don’t mind the pick. I did prefer Castellanos, but this is a solid pick. One of my sister’s friends is in the same class as him. People here are going crazy lol

    • Angelo

      I can imagine. He has to be super excited.

      • http://www.facebook.com/adorador Ray Fuego

        Luckily his facebook page says his real name or he would have requests up the wazoo

        • poster

          I looked him up using his real and “fake” name and can’t find him.

          • http://www.facebook.com/adorador Ray Fuego

            Chris Culver

    • Meat Loaf

      Agreed. Operation shit your pants is a go.

  • Real World

    Why take a guy in the 1st round, that will absolutely be there the next time you pick? I have to agree with the people who are saying WTF here.

  • mike c

    i like this move. it’s a gamble, but what else do you expect. it’s all about talent level, and trying to roll the dice on a kid with some natural skill. the yankees aren’t going to draft bryce harper or derek jeter redux. the kid is probably so stoked right now, good for him

  • http://msn.explorer dan

    stetson allie, rob rowland, bobby wahl! You might have had all three
    in your system if you drafted allie in 1st round.

    • pat

      Nobody chose Stetson Allie. What does that tell you?

    • Tom Zig

      Stetson Allie told me he doesn’t like you

  • Mister Delaware

    No one gets excited to see us go completely off most top 100 lists, but the one thing the freak-outters aren’t considering is that this isn’t like other drafts. Without trades as an option, you have to stick to your board, if you’re at 32 and your think your top guy is going to go 75th but you don’t pick until 82, you have to take him at 32. Valuation is completely different without the ability to trade picks; you just take who you like best if you don’t think he’s reaching your next pick.

    (Granted, I’d be more excited going to bed with a Castellanos or someone else universally loved, but I’m not going to join whatever kneejerk, uninformed Fire Oppenheimer facebook page is sure to pop up.)

  • Salty Buggah

    Good Mo, people from each side are taking it to the extreme. Is it questionable? Definitely yes. Were there “sexier” names available? Yes. Can we immediately declare it be the worst pick ever? No. Do you know more the Yanks scouts? No.

    • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

      This a lot. People are allowed to be surprised, confused, and disappointed. Calling him a bust, saying this is the worst pick ever, and that Oppenheimer should be fired, though, is just ridiculous.

      • Mister Delaware

        Sexiest name was “Deck McGuire”. Too bad we never had a shot.

        • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

          Seriously, that’s a fucking awesome name, especially for a baseball player.

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

            If the A-Team had a fifth member, he’d be it.

        • http://twitter.com/dpatrickg Dirty Pena

          His full name is actually Jason Marquis McGwire.

    • Tom Swift

      The Yankees must have realized that this pick would get a negative reaction from the average fan, who gets his information from mass market sources. But they went ahead anyway. There is a rationale for this move — Opp did not take him just to frustrate the fan base. The kid may work out, and then again he may be a bust. But considering he’s not even 18, it’s too early to say he’s only a slap hitter or just another Ramiro Pena. The news reports say he is a splendid athlete. It’s not crazy to think he may grow a few inches and develop some power in the next 4 years.

  • pat

    TO TEH EITHTHHh

    • pat

      I heard he throws a reverse gyroball.

    • http://theyankeeu.com Matt Imbrogno

      BOOM!

  • Cecala

    First Boston goes out to get Dice-K and we respond with Kei Igawa. BUST!

    Boston then gets a pitcher/SS named Sir Casey Kelly so we go out to get ourselves a pitcher/SS so this is obviously going to be a bust. (I am just kidding by the way)

    Anyway, I kind of like this pick. It is always nice to have a hometown player to root for and hopefully he will start in Staten Island so I can watch him. Yeah it was a shocker but the draft is a crap shoot, there were many players that were projected as 4th rounders that had success in the majors and there were many players that were top talent that were busts.

  • A.D.

    Would I like Castellanos or Vettelson yes, am I pissed, no.

  • http://twitter.com/dpatrickg Dirty Pena

    If this guys name was John Ingle and he was just drafted out of Savannah, “scribes” like Peter Gammons and Peter Abraham would be fawning all over themselves about how he’s the next Omar Vizquel with an Albert Pujols-like ceiling.

  • Gonzo

    Dewey Defeats Truman!

  • danny

    I go to Maryland and even though i LOVE my school, the baseball program here isn’t anything to fantasize about. Unless he is deadset on going to school I don’t see why he wouldnt sign.

  • http://yanksdraftsandprospects.blogspot.com/ Jake H

    Quote by Oppenheimer http://twitter.com/BloggingBom.....5677708069

    Oppenheimer: “He has a plus arm, is a solid runner and is an excellent hitter. He’s a player we are happy to have… Easy decision for us.”

  • Meat Loaf

    Cito said his dream was to be a Yankee.

    I can’t see him not signing.

    • Reggie C.

      The kid’s life has completely changed tonight, hopefully, for the better. Graduate with a smile, and please sign the dotted line on the contract so we can all share in Opp’s assessment of your “excellent hitting”.

    • Tom Swift

      The kid is walking on air. Good for him.

      • Meat Loaf

        Amen!

  • poster

    I looked for him using both names on facebook and I can’t find him.

    • Mister Delaware

      A point in Culver’s favor, I’d say.

    • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

      You didn’t try hard enough. I’ve found his profile complete with photos of his prom date already. Easy as pie.

      /not a stalker

      • Gonzo

        What did his prom date look like? Hot?

        /issues

  • dzop

    For those of you who wanted video:

    http://baseballbeginnings.com/.....#more-4214

    That swing sucks. He throws his hands out and hits of his front foot, and I don’t mean in that sneaky-strong Robby Cano way.

    The first thing they’re going to have to do is break down this guy’s swing and give him a new one.

    • Cult of Basebaal

      I have to say this seems about right. He doesn’t seem to stay back on the ball at all (either in this video or in the other that I saw). Obviously, it’s not much to go on and doesn’t highlight things like pitch selection or recognization, but it seems like a swing that’s going to need to work to translate to wood bats.

  • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

    I love the pick, because Cito Culver combines two of my most famous people in the world: Toronto Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston and Iowa governor Chet Culver.

    Nice job, D-Opp.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

      I’ve been busy with the chat and what not, but I just wanted to take a second to say I’ve missed you around here. The place just isn’t the same, the idiots are taking over.

      Hope the kid’s doing well.

  • Angelo

    Is the battle over yet?

  • Mike

    I live about 20 from where cito plays and i have seen him play many times. I also played with him when i was Younger. He is a hell of an athlete with great speed. I have heard he has reached up 96 on the gun. Also all that BS about him not give 100% all the time is not true. He has great passion for the game.

  • Patrick

    How about we give the kid a chance? Everyone on this site is acting like they know what they’re talking about but I doubt any one of you is a professional scout or ball player. Patience! Give him a few years just to fill out his body and get used to swinging wood and then we can judge.

  • Tim Walton

    have the yankees brass thought about jorge vasquez as a possible DH, his numbers are quite impressive and it does appear he is def outgrown AA.