Charlie Culberson (2-5) - A former supplemental first round draft pick, Charlie Culberson began 2008 in Augusta with high hopes. After a .234/.290/.319 season which left many wondering what the Giants saw in Culberson to begin with, he enters the 2009 season repeating the Sally League in what the Giants hope will be his coming out party. After watching him play, I'm not sure a breakout is coming anytime soon.
- Solid, compact build; Looked shorter than 6'1"; May have been due to solid build; Not much room for additional growth
- Thick through the lower half; Quickness to play shortstop in doubt
- Listed as SS; Played 3B in this game which is surprising considering his lack of power
- Misplayed slow ground ball at third
- Short, level swing; Average bat speed; Will struggle to generate power
- Grounded out weakly to 3rd base his first at bat
- Gap to gap hitter; A couple of hard hit balls to left center field
- Solid approach; Could tell he was trying to work counts after his first at bat
Overall, Culberson was a little better than I thought he would be. Reports I had read previously were in the bad to worse range, so I honestly was not expecting much. While he will likely never be an everyday big leaguer, I can see him filling a utility role on a major league club. However, his playing third base was concerning because he just doesn't have the bat for a corner. If he's already been labeled a tweener at twenty, he's going to have a very tough time salvaging whatever prospect status he has left. Especially if he loses another step has he progresses and can no longer play shortstop in a pinch.
I wonder what the Giants were thinking when they drafted Culberson so high. I understand hindsight is 20/20, but drafted shortly after Culberson were Kyle Lotzkar, Nick Hagadone, and Jordan Zimmermann. With pitching being the Giants bread and butter, passing on a number of high upside talents to draft a seemingly limited Culberson just doesn't make much sense.