The New York Yankees have reportedly reached an agreement to re-sign one of their more notable minor league free agents of the winter, infielder Cito Culver.
According to Robert Pimpsner of Pinstriped Prospects, the New York Yankees have re-signed longtime farmhand Cito Culver to a minor league pact. The 24-year-old infielder was one of the organization’s 13 MiLB free agents this winter, and the second to be brought back into the fold thus far in the offseason.
While many fans will remember Culver as one of the team’s most disappointing first round picks in recent memory (he was taken 32nd overall in the 2010 June amateur draft), he actually showed signs of potentially being a useful major league player in the near future during his 2016 campaign.
Between Double-A Trenton and Triple-A Scranton Wilkes-Barre, Culver hit .254/.315/.349 in 439 plate appearances, which was easily his best offensive performance of the last three years. Over his seven year professional career, Culver has compiled a .232/.308/.320 slash line. As a fun fact, he was rumored to be the player Jorge Mateo suggested the organization release in order to promote the top prospect to Double-A.
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His 2016 numbers still may look a little pitiful, but when you consider that the youngster is a true wizard with the glove who can play excellent defense at all four infield positions.
Like fellow 2016 MiLB free agent Donovan Solano, it wouldn’t be surprising if Culver was brought to big league camp next spring to compete with incumbent utility infielder Ronald Torreyes for a job on New York’s big league bench.
More likely, Culver will serve as one of Triple-A Scranton Wilkes Barre’s everyday infielders and serve as a depth piece in the event of an injury.
Sadly, in the same report, Pinstripes Prospects also notes that the Yankees have released Double-A outfielder Michael O’Neill after the 24-year-old former third round pick hit .233/.289/.318 in 196 plate appearances for Trenton. Michael was the nephew of Yankee legend Paul O’Neill and had legitimate prospect cred for a little while.