Amateur scouting director Damon Oppenheimer is starting a beat writer conference call in about two minutes. I’ll have some updates as we go.
UPDATE, 11:35 p.m.: “I had basically over 100 years of scouting experience go in and see this kid.”
UPDATE, 11:36 p.m.: “We’ve been able to see him play for a long time. We’ve probably got a couple of hundred at-bats from him… We were ahead of the game because we knew so much about him.”
UPDATE, 11:37 p.m.: “We project him to be a shortstop.”
UPDATE, 11:38 p.m.: On the idea of waiting for him to fall into the second round: “The thought crossed my mind and I’m glad I didn’t, because after we did pick him I got a call from one of our competitors who’s very successful, saying he would not have gotten to us.”
UPDATE, 11:40 p.m.: “He really wants to be a Yankee. I think that we’re going to get him. We should get him signed and get him out playing really soon.”
UPDATE, 11:44 p.m.: Conference call is over. We’ll talk to Culver this afternoon.
The basic feeling from Oppenheimer was this: The Yankees saw Culver play a lot. Damon was talking about a couple of hundred at-bats, and that’s a ton to see from a high school kid. Despite speculation to the contrary, the Yankees don’t believe he would have fallen to them in the second round, and it’s hard to imagine anyone had a better feel for this kid than the Yankees. Oppenheimer expects him to sign quickly, and the team plans to keep him at shortstop.