Culver Looking To Start Up

After playing half of a season in the Gulf Coast League and Staten Island in 2010, Cito Culver is ready and prepared for the short-season leagues to start up.

The 6-foot-1, 185-pound shortstop from Rochester, New York was the Yankees first-round pick in the 2010 MLB Draft. Being an avid Yankees fan growing up, the whole experience of playing within the Yankees organization has been a dream come true for Culver.

"On draft day when I was picked by the Yankees I couldn't have been any happier. To be playing for my favorite team, I instantly looked forward to starting up right away," said Culver.

After batting .269 in the Gulf Coast League in 2010 with 43 hits in 41 games, Culver entered the 2011 Spring Training just trying to improve on his overall game.

"I worked on a lot of different things like my mechanics at the plate all the way to different situations in the field," Culver said. "I'm just trying to become a better and smarter player every day."

Although Culver did not make the Spring Training roster with low-A Charleston, it has not affected his overall demeanor and work ethic.

"It would have been nice to make that team but if it is best for me to be here, then I'm happy with it," Culver said when asked what his thoughts were about not making the Charleston roster. "I'm playing everyday here in Extended and it doesn't really matter where I play as long as I'm playing and getting better." Culver has been playing in EST for a few weeks now and his play and work ethic has caught the attention of the Yankees coaches since day one.

Staten Island head coach, Tommy Slater, coached Culver in 2010 and he believes that Culver is one special player that doesn't come around too often.

"[Cito's] been a gem since day one. He's outstanding defensively and comes to work everyday ready to play. He's been banged up a little in Extended but he'll get healthy. He's a hard working kid," said Slater.

As for the way Culver believes he is doing so far for Extended, he is happy with his results, but he's still gaining experience at the next level and ready to work on what he has to for the short-season league season starting up next month.

"Extended is going ok, it could be going better," Culver said. "I'm still working on things for my swing, like approach tactics. As for what I have to improve on, I think just trying to get my feet wet, I'm still really young so coming to the field ready to work every day is important to me."

With Culver continuing to get his feet wet, GCL hitting coach Edwar Gonzalez believes that Culver also needs to just go out there and play.

"He's getting better mechanically and working on what he has been assigned to do, but what he really needs to focus on is just going out there and playing," Gonzalez said. "Just play, he's only 18 and he needs to get his feet wet and have fun out there."

When asked about how the hand is feeling Culver said that there is nothing to worry about.

"It's just a day-to-day type of thing, I'll be fine," Culver said.

With EST games under Culver's belt in 2011 and the short-season leagues starting up next month, Culver is not only ready for the season to start up, he's also prepared.

"I do think I'm ready," Culver said when asked about the upcoming short-season leagues. "I played half a season last year and I feel prepared. The Yankees do a great job preparing me for that and I'm feeling great about it and looking forward to the season to start up."

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Pinstripes Plus Top Stories

\r\n \r\n\r\nThe 6-foot-1, 185-pound shortstop from Rochester, New York was the Yankees first-round pick in the 2010 MLB Draft. Being an avid Yankees fan growing up, the whole experience of playing within the Yankees organization has been a dream come true for Culver.
\r\n
\r\n\"On draft day when I was picked by the Yankees I couldn't have been any happier. To be playing for my favorite team, I instantly looked forward to starting up right away,\" said Culver.
\r\n
\r\nAfter batting .269 in the Gulf Coast League in 2010 with 43 hits in 41 games, Culver entered the 2011 Spring Training just trying to improve on his overall game.
\r\n
\r\n\"I worked on a lot of different things like my mechanics at the plate all the way to different situations in the field,\" Culver said. \"I'm just trying to become a better and smarter player every day.\"
\r\n
\r\nAlthough Culver did not make the Spring Training roster with low-A Charleston, it has not affected his overall demeanor and work ethic.
\r\n
\r\n\"It would have been nice to make that team but if it is best for me to be here, then I'm happy with it,\" Culver said when asked what his thoughts were about not making the Charleston roster. \"I'm playing everyday here in Extended and it doesn't really matter where I play as long as I'm playing and getting better.\"\r\nCulver has been playing in EST for a few weeks now and his play and work ethic has caught the attention of the Yankees coaches since day one.
\r\n
\r\nStaten Island head coach, Tommy Slater, coached Culver in 2010 and he believes that Culver is one special player that doesn't come around too often.
\r\n
\r\n\"[Cito's] been a gem since day one. He's outstanding defensively and comes to work everyday ready to play. He's been banged up a little in Extended but he'll get healthy. He's a hard working kid,\" said Slater.
\r\n
\r\nAs for the way Culver believes he is doing so far for Extended, he is happy with his results, but he's still gaining experience at the next level and ready to work on what he has to for the short-season league season starting up next month.
\r\n
\r\n\"Extended is going ok, it could be going better,\" Culver said. \"I'm still working on things for my swing, like approach tactics. As for what I have to improve on, I think just trying to get my feet wet, I'm still really young so coming to the field ready to work every day is important to me.\"
\r\n
\r\nWith Culver continuing to get his feet wet, GCL hitting coach Edwar Gonzalez believes that Culver also needs to just go out there and play.
\r\n
\r\n\"He's getting better mechanically and working on what he has been assigned to do, but what he really needs to focus on is just going out there and playing,\" Gonzalez said. \"Just play, he's only 18 and he needs to get his feet wet and have fun out there.\"
\r\n\r\n
\r\nWhen asked about how the hand is feeling Culver said that there is nothing to worry about.
\r\n
\r\n\"It's just a day-to-day type of thing, I'll be fine,\" Culver said.
\r\n
\r\nWith EST games under Culver's belt in 2011 and the short-season leagues starting up next month, Culver is not only ready for the season to start up, he's also prepared.
\r\n
\r\n\"I do think I'm ready,\" Culver said when asked about the upcoming short-season leagues. \"I played half a season last year and I feel prepared. The Yankees do a great job preparing me for that and I'm feeling great about it and looking forward to the season to start up.\"
\r\n
\r\n

\r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n\r\n
\r\n

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\r\n

\r\n

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