The Yankees top pick in the 2010 draft is a high schooler named Cito Culver.
He’s a switch-hitting shortstop, considered better from the left side. MLB.com says he has gap-to-gap power and above-average speed. He also has a pretty big fastball from the mound.
I’ve never seen the guy and only heard of him when his name was announced, but he sounds like a wild-card kind of pick. Very high potential with a lot of unknowns.
UPDATE, 11:05 p.m.: The Yankees just sent a press release about the Culver pick. It includes a comment from Damon Oppenheimer. Here it is…
The New York Yankees tonight selected 17-year-old switch-hitting shortstop Chris “Cito” Culver out of Irondequoit High School in Rochester, N.Y., with their first-round selection (32nd pick overall) in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft.
Culver, listed at 6 feet, 172 pounds, batted .561 (37-for-66) with 10 doubles, five triples, nine home runs, 38 RBI and 20 walks in 22 regular season games this past season as a high school senior, according to his school’s Web site. He also had a .933 fielding percentage, committing just eight errors in 120 total chances, helping lead his school to the Monroe County Division title. Named his team’s most valuable player in each of the last three seasons, Culver was also a three-time all-county selection and an Under Armour All-American.
Last summer, Culver played on the Yankees’ Area Code team, working out at Yankee Stadium and participating in a tournament in California. Baseball America rated the shortstop as the third-best prospect out of the state of New York. Under his high school bio page, Culver lists his favorite baseball team as the New York Yankees and one of his favorite baseball players as Derek Jeter.
“We were able to draft a very athletic kid who can play a good shortstop,” said Damon Oppenheimer, Yankees Vice President of Amateur Scouting. “He has a plus arm, is a solid runner and is an excellent hitter. He’s a player we are happy to have. It was an easy decision for us.”
Culver is just the second high school shortstop drafted by the Yankees (also C.J. Henry in 2005) in the first round since the club selected Derek Jeter with the sixth overall pick in the 1992 First-Year Player Draft.