Yankees Fans Unite Exculsive Interview with Cito Culver

Jamie F. and myself had the opportunity to have some questions answered by the New York Yankees 1st-round pick of the 2010 draft Cito Culver.  A native of Rochester, New York, Culver’s a switch-hitter who throws right-handed.  Below is our interview  with our questions in BLUE.  Enjoy.

2010 233 23 51 8 2 18 7 21 51 .251 .325 .330 .655
2011 312 40 69 14 2 33 10 30 57 .250 .323 .337 .660
Totals 545 63 120 22 4 51 17 51 108 .251 .323 .334 .657
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 3/12/2012.

1) After 2 seasons in short-season ball, what did you do this Winter to prepare for the grind of your first year in full-season ball?

After playing two season of short season ball I realized the toll it takes on your body. The everyday grind was tough to adjust to. This off-season I felt that I had to come into this year in a lot better shape so I was in the weight room more than ever before I’m trying to get my body ready for this long season.

2) You had much better results hitting right-handed last year (.324 BA) – is that your natural side and which side is more comfortable? How long have you been switch-hitting?

Since I was 3. My dad never let me hit from one side without swinging from the other.  If I tried to hit just one way my dad would stop playing with me.

3) Describe your approach at the plate. Do you like to work the count or jump on the first fastball you see?

I try to keep it as simple as I can.  Get a pitch that I can drive and go from there.  Hitting is hard enough to do. I don’t want to make it any harder.

4) You threw 95 MPH in High School. Was there ever a thought of pitching professionally and do you miss taking the mound?

No. I never wanted to pitch. I was just a hard thrower. I like playing everyday. I’ve always wanted to play shortstop.

5) How has your strength and size improved since you were drafted? Have you added weight?

Yes I have.  I’ve gained 8 pounds this off-season. And I feel better than ever.

6) You and the other H.S. kids drafted in 2010 made up the core of the Staten Island Championship team – do you guys talk about moving up together and eventually to New York?

We had a great group of guys and we have been lucky to have success as a team at a young age and we love playing with each other. We all talk about playing with each other over then next few years and how great that would be. But it’s out of our control.

7) Which of your Staten Island teammates impressed you the most?

That team had a lot of bright spots on it. And a lot of the players had something different to offer. Mason (Williams), Ben G.(Gamel), Tyler A.(Austin), Branden P.(Pinder), Bryan M.(Mitchell), Matt T.(Tracy).   These guys are all great players and I look forward to playing with them again.

8) What are your strengths as a hitter and what do you need to work on?

As a hitter I can put the bat on the ball a lot of the time. I don’t swing and miss often but I have a lot to work on. There is always room for improvement. I want to be as good as I can be and still be a student of the game.

9) Same question about your defense – what are your strengths and what do you need to improve?

My strength is my arm I think. But I love playing defense and there still is a lot more I can get better with. I’m excited to learn more about my position and be the best I can possible be.

10) What are your individual goals for this season?

I try to just play to the best of my ability and win. That is the most important thing to me.

11) Any last thoughts to tell the fans of the Yankees?

Just keep watching and cheering the Yankees we aren’t anything without the fans. Best fans in the world.

About Matthew S.

Avid Yankee fan since birth. I have been going to Yankee games with my father since i was young. I have many memories at YSII including many playoffs and world series games. I hope that you enjoy our blog. Comment often.

Posted on March 12, 2012, in Interviews and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Great job guys.Could Cito be Jete’s replacement?It would be nice.There seems to ba a lack of high end talent at ss in the bigs now .Hopefully Nunez can be a steady performer ,the physical tools are all there.Time will tell.

    • Thanks ballpark. Cito was very gracious and answered all the questions we had.

    • Anxious to see how Cito progresses in the next 2 years as he grows into his adult body and strength. He said he put on 8 pounds in the offseason and hopefully it will help him impact the ball better.

      Yanks have another intriguing young Shortstop that doesn’t get much press – Jose Rosario. He ripped the ball in the Gulf Coast League and earned a late season jump up to Charleston. Mark Newman said he really worked hard and has turned himself into a legitimate prospect. His offensive numbers were actually better than Bichette’s in the GCL this yr although Dante won MVP.

      Rosario & Culver are around the same age and level so don’t know how they will handle that since they should both be at Charleston to start the year. Don’t know if they bump one up or down a level or move positions or alternate or what.

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