Culver Striving To Remain Steady

The Yankees first round draft pick from 2010 returned to Staten Island this year to continue to work on his game. Obviously at age 18, the organization has no reason to rush the young shortstop. With a combined .251 average in 2010 for the Gulf Coast rookie affiliate and a brief, end-of-season appearance with Staten Island, there is no need to push him into the long-season leagues just yet.

Since last year's draft, Cito Culver has played a lot of baseball. From the GCL to Staten Island, Dominican Instructs, and into Spring Training, Culver has consistently been on the diamond since draft day.

"It set me up really well," he said of his debut season last year. "It gave me an idea of what I was going to come in and face and it really helped a lot. It was an eye-opener and I wasn't used to playing that much but it got me prepared for this season so I would know what to expect and have my body conditioned for this season."

The lifelong Empire Stater would see Spring Training give way to an assignment in Extended Spring, where he got his first chance to experience a real set of lessons and guidance for his tools to progress.

"It was exciting as my first Spring Training. I had a lot of things I worked on with my swing, like getting in a good position to hit as well as my defense, many things you just don't cover in high school so it was a great place to work."

Culver's assignment to Extended Spring and not to a long-season team like Charleston came as a surprise to some, but not to Staten Island manager Tommy Slater, who had worked with Cito last year in the GCL.

"First and foremost you're talking about one of the youngest players in the organization, a guy who could have been a senior in high school right now and I think that his age is a big deciding factor."

Culver himself was not surprised by the assignment, acknowledging his age and need for improvement.

"I had a good idea where I was going to be," he said. "I know it's my first year and I'm really young so I'm happy to go with the flow. There's plenty of time."

The young shortstop took to the guidance with enthusiasm, working on not only his mechanics at the plate but his defense. A one-time, part-time pitcher, Culver has worked hard on his game in the field, something that has not gone unnoticed by Slater.

"I think we've seen his defensive side really shine. He's also mentally tough and he has really good instincts. And he's very good to work with in practice and constantly strives to get better."

At the plate, Slater doesn't expect immediate success out of his young players, and stresses the growing pains some players can face when coming into professional baseball.

"Cito has spent a lot of time working on a consistent approach at the plate, day after day. And with a lot of young players that's something where in high school they dominate the level. Here they face a tougher challenge and sometimes fail for the first time."

In Staten Island's short season, entering Monday night's game, Culver had accumulated a .290 average with 20 hits in the 16 games the team has played. Not one to talk about himself, he shines about the team's cohesiveness during their 13-game win streak.

"We've got this winning attitude," Culver said before Monday night's loss to Brooklyn. "Our bullpen is really good and everyone is really bonding. I try and do my best at the plate and in the field but we just don't want to lose right now."

Culver has been lighting up left handed pitching to the tune of a .556 average in the early season and pressed for some answers, he gives up the goods on his approach versus southpaws.

"I've really just been trying to hit the ball the other way. I don't know. I've been hitting well on the road. I'm just trying to go with it when I see those guys. Sometimes you can't predict what's going to happen."

For the remainder of the season, Culver wants to continue what he's been diligently working on for the last year: improving both at the plate and at the bag.

"I'm really going to focus on the work. In the field I want to improve and at the plate I want to be able to work on my left-handed swing and just go from there."

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Pinstripes Plus Top Stories

\r\n \r\n\r\nSince last year's draft, Cito Culver has played a lot of baseball. From the GCL to Staten Island, Dominican Instructs, and into Spring Training, Culver has consistently been on the diamond since draft day.
\r\n
\r\n\"It set me up really well,\" he said of his debut season last year. \"It gave me an idea of what I was going to come in and face and it really helped a lot. It was an eye-opener and I wasn't used to playing that much but it got me prepared for this season so I would know what to expect and have my body conditioned for this season.\"
\r\n
\r\nThe lifelong Empire Stater would see Spring Training give way to an assignment in Extended Spring, where he got his first chance to experience a real set of lessons and guidance for his tools to progress.
\r\n
\r\n\"It was exciting as my first Spring Training. I had a lot of things I worked on with my swing, like getting in a good position to hit as well as my defense, many things you just don't cover in high school so it was a great place to work.\"
\r\n
\r\nCulver's assignment to Extended Spring and not to a long-season team like Charleston came as a surprise to some, but not to Staten Island manager Tommy Slater, who had worked with Cito last year in the GCL.
\r\n
\r\n\"First and foremost you're talking about one of the youngest players in the organization, a guy who could have been a senior in high school right now and I think that his age is a big deciding factor.\"
\r\n
\r\nCulver himself was not surprised by the assignment, acknowledging his age and need for improvement.
\r\n
\r\n\"I had a good idea where I was going to be,\" he said. \"I know it's my first year and I'm really young so I'm happy to go with the flow. There's plenty of time.\"
\r\n
\r\nThe young shortstop took to the guidance with enthusiasm, working on not only his mechanics at the plate but his defense. A one-time, part-time pitcher, Culver has worked hard on his game in the field, something that has not gone unnoticed by Slater.
\r\n
\r\n\"I think we've seen his defensive side really shine. He's also mentally tough and he has really good instincts. And he's very good to work with in practice and constantly strives to get better.\"
\r\n
\r\nAt the plate, Slater doesn't expect immediate success out of his young players, and stresses the growing pains some players can face when coming into professional baseball.
\r\n
\r\n\"Cito has spent a lot of time working on a consistent approach at the plate, day after day. And with a lot of young players that's something where in high school they dominate the level. Here they face a tougher challenge and sometimes fail for the first time.\"
\r\n
\r\nIn Staten Island's short season, entering Monday night's game, Culver had accumulated a .290 average with 20 hits in the 16 games the team has played. Not one to talk about himself, he shines about the team's cohesiveness during their 13-game win streak.
\r\n
\r\n\"We've got this winning attitude,\" Culver said before Monday night's loss to Brooklyn. \"Our bullpen is really good and everyone is really bonding. I try and do my best at the plate and in the field but we just don't want to lose right now.\"
\r\n
\r\nCulver has been lighting up left handed pitching to the tune of a .556 average in the early season and pressed for some answers, he gives up the goods on his approach versus southpaws.
\r\n
\r\n\"I've really just been trying to hit the ball the other way. I don't know. I've been hitting well on the road. I'm just trying to go with it when I see those guys. Sometimes you can't predict what's going to happen.\"
\r\n
\r\nFor the remainder of the season, Culver wants to continue what he's been diligently working on for the last year: improving both at the plate and at the bag.
\r\n
\r\n\"I'm really going to focus on the work. In the field I want to improve and at the plate I want to be able to work on my left-handed swing and just go from there.\"
\r\n
\r\n

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

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\r\n

\r\n

Become an annual subscriber today!

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