I don’t know a thing about Cito Culver right now, other than what Jim Callis just told MLB Network. He was ranked toward the bottom of Callis’s top-200 rankings, and may or may not be a shortstop long term. Callis didn’t seem to want to use the word, but he seemed to characterize Culver as a reach with the 32nd pick.
Here’s a profile on him:
The first thing you would notice about Culver is that his athletic actions jump off the field. Listed at 6-1, 167 he’s got a modest build on which the strength is still filling in. The quickness jumps out, both in his hands and his footwork. It also plays in his running speed and he has a fast first step.
The next tool would be his arm. On the mound, he was 90-91, which really isn’t bad for a guy with that kind of frame. What you didn’t see with Culver was a lot of physical projection for height, which would make his future as a right-handed pitcher pretty nominal. On one play, a kid fouled a pitch back behind the screen. Culver came off the mound, full speed, and caught up to his catcher deep in foul territory. It was a throwaway play to some scouts, but it showed me reflexes, his first step and his acceleration. The guy is an athlete.
There’s a video too.
Mike at RAB shared this link on Culver.
The Yankees announced Culver, who is primarily regarded as a shortstop, as a right handed pitcher. All I know is that he throws in the low 90s. His height has been listed in a bunch of places between 5’11″ and 6’2″. I’m willing to bet he’s closer to 6’2″. He’s said to be crazy athletic, but no one seems to have regarded him as a pitcher before today.
The Yankees have a lot more information on this guy than anyone. He’s local enough for them to get a lot of looks, and they obviously have a plan if they are talking about him as a RHP. But the pick strikes me as a bit weird. The BA rankings seem to suggest that Culver would be available in the 2nd round. But the Yankees have a history (see Heathcott, Hughes) of going after their guy, so they are probably pretty confident in his abilities. The word on this draft is that it was already pretty weak around #32, so there may not have been a lot of killer picks available over Culver.
More thoughts after the rest of the draft tomorrow. I’ll be hiking all day, so I won’t be able to get anything up as it goes on.