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Monday, June 7, 2010

Cito Culver

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Yankees take shortstop Christopher 'Cito' Culver with first-round pick in draft

 Team representatives of the Yankees Gene Michaels and Roy White look on during the draft Monday.

Have the Yankees drafted a replacement for Derek Jeter.

It will be while before they know for sure. Nevertheless, the Yankees were clearly impressed by 17-year-old shortstop Christopher "Cito" Culver, who the Yankees chose on Monday with the 32nd overall pick in the 2010 first-year player draft.

"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."

A switch-hitter, Culver played at Irondequoit High School in Rochester, N.Y. Here's more from the Yankees:

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...

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.

Culver had his sights set on the University of Maryland, though those plans may change, considering that the Yankees used their No. 1 pick to nab him. In their pre-draft Top 200 list, Baseball America ranked Culver No. 168. The publication seemed to slot Culver between the fourth and sixth rounds.

The publication also points out that as a high school pitcher, Culver has hit 94 m.p.h. on the gun, though he considers himself as a shortstop.

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