Saturday, November 11, 2017

The Cito Culver Era may be over

Yesterday, amid the tumult over the meeting between two world leaders - Eric Wedge and Brian Cashman (pictured, right) - a seemingly minor news flash may have crawled across the flat-screen of your subconsciousness. 

Cito Culver became a minor league free agent... again.

Yes, THE Cito Culver. The former first-round pick - for years mocked as a symbol of Yankee draft ineptitude - can now sign with any major league organization, and my guess is that he will find more promising opportunities than with the Evil Emp. Culver, now 25, still has an outside shot at becoming an MLB utility lug nut, but it better happen soon. The Yankees are overstocked with IF prospects, and if he were to re-sign - as he did last year - I wouldn't bet on him. Last year, in Scranton, he hit .223 with 12 HRs and 1 SB. No, it wouldn't look good at all.

Truth be told, I always felt bad about Culver, who became a whipping boy for angry Yankee fans through no fault of his own. In 2010, the Yankees drafted him with their first pick because they were playing a strategy - they would go cheap in the first round and spend more later (Mason Williams, also a free agent.) Culver signed immediately, as they knew he would, and when he didn't hit, it left him forever to be held up as a Yankee disappointment, a failed first-rounder.

That he played SS didn't help. Cito was expected to replace Jeter. Being a switch-hitter didn't help. He eventually gave up and batted solely from the right. Being a potential pitching prospect probably didn't help. There were always people suggesting he scrap SS and move to the bullpen. And maybe they were right. In his six-year minor league career, Culver has hit .231 with little power. 

Here's hoping he finds the right place, and if he does come back to the Yankees - it will be because they see him as a person younger players should emulate. Maybe he'll be another Rex Hudler - a first-rounder held up for scorn - but who actually built a career out of hustling. They say the draft is a lottery. Hey, you never know...



2 comments:

Unknown said...

I appreciate your kindness on this one.

Anonymous said...

......."THEY WOULD GO CHEAP ON THIS ONE"......

I ALWAYS SAY, WHEN THE NEW YORK YANKEES DECIDE TO GO CHEAP.....

IT NEVER WORKS.