Cito Culver was born in 1992, the same year his idol, Derek Jeter, was drafted by the Yankees.


If Culver’s development goes smoothly, the Yankees’ 2010 first-round draft pick might be Jeter’s teammate and eventual replacement at shortstop.


“I just love the way he plays the game,” Culver said of Jeter on a conference call. “He goes hard every time. The best part about his game, to me, is whenever he hits a ground ball he runs it out hard every time.


You can expect that from him, to give his best effort every time.”

The 17-year-old switch-hitting shortstop from Rochester hit .561 with nine home runs, 38 RBIs and a .933 fielding percentage as a high school senior. Some draft experts had him going as low as the fourth round.

“We’ve been able to see him play for a long time," Yankees vice president of amateur scouting Damon Oppenheimer said. “We’ve probably got a couple hundred at-bats with him.”