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Cito Culver with the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders. (Photo by Cheryl Purcell)


Culver Among Yankees Ten Minor League Free Agents

On Tuesday Baseball America’s Matt Eddy reported that ten New York Yankees minor leaguers have declared free agency and may now sign with any team.  Headlining the list was former first-round draft pick and infielder Cito Culver.

Joining Culver on the list of free agents were pitchers Tyler Cloyd, Claudio Custodio, and Gabe Encinas as well as catchers Santiago Nessy, Eddy Rodriguez, and Sebastian ValleJose Rosario and Jonathan Diaz were the two other infielders on the list while Cesar Puello was the lone outfielder on the list.

Culver, 24, was the Yankees first-round pick in 2010 out of high school and last season had his best season yet hitting .254 in 117 games between Double-A and Triple-A.  He also drove in a career-high 51 runs.  This past season he also saw time all over the infield with time at shortstop, first base, second base, and third base.

Cloyd, 29, appeared in just four games for the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Rail Riders this season where he struck out 17 in 19 2/3 innings pitched.  He spent most of the season on the disabled list.

Custodio, 26, is a converted position player who just completed his second season as a professional pitcher.  In 2016 he split the season between the Charleston RiverDogs and the Staten Island Yankees, appearing in 26 games and striking out 34 in 46 2/3 innings and allowing 15 earned runs.

Encinas, 24, was a sixth-round draft pick in 2010 for the Yankees and in six seasons in the system, he was 14-21 with a 4.53 ERA and 303 strikeouts in 328 innings pitched.  This past season he appeared in 18 games for the Tampa Yankees,

Nessy, 23, hit just .202 in 38 games for the Tampa Yankees in his only season in the farm system.  He was selected by the Yankees in the Rule 5 draft in December 2015.

Rodriguez, 30, was signed by the Yankees as a minor league free agent in 2015 and spent the 2016 season in Triple-A with the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders.  He hit just .215 in 44 games this past season, serving mostly as a backup.

Rosario, 24, has been with the Yankees since 2009.  In eight seasons in the organization, he hit .264 over 488 games.  The past couple of seasons he has been used mostly as a utility infielder with time in the outfield and infield in 2016.

Diaz, 31, was signed as a free agent last offseason and spent 2016 with the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders where he hit .207 in 101 games.

Puello, 25, was original with the Mets but after being released in 2015, he signed with the Yankees.  In his only season in the Yankees organization, he hit .283 in 78 games in Triple-A.

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