Charles Edward Culberson, Jr.
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 1", Weight 200 lb.
- High School Calhoun (GA) High School
- Debut May 13, 2012
The grandson of Leon Culberson and son of minor leaguer Charlie Culberson, Sr., infielder Charlie Culberson reached the majors with the San Francisco Giants in 2012 before being traded to the Colorado Rockies in July.
Culberson was drafted by the Giants 51st overall in the Supplemental 1st Round of the 2007 amateur draft. He was signed by scout Sean O'Connor for $607,500 and made his pro debut that summer for the AZL Giants, hitting .286 in 46 games. With the Augusta Greenjackets the following year, he hit .235 in 81 games despite missing the later part of the season with a broken hand. Back with Augusta in 2009, he hit .246 in 132 games.
Playing for the San Jose Giants in 2010, Culberson hit .290 with 16 home runs and 71 RBI while stealing 25 bases that year. He played for the Richmond Flying Squirrels the next summer, 2011, and hit .259 with 10 homers. After starting 2012 with the Fresno Grizzlies, he was called up to the majors in May. He made his debut for the Giants on May 13th, going 1 for 4 with a single off Joe Saunders of the Arizona Diamondbacks. He only played 6 games for the Giants, going 3 for 22, before being sent back to AAA. In Fresno, he hit .236/.283/.396 in 90 games, with 14 doubles and 10 homers. On July 27th, he was traded to the Rockies in return for Marco Scutaro but did not see action with the major league team.
Culberson had two fairly busy seasons for the Rockies in 2013 and 2014, playing 47 and 95 games respectively. He hit .293 with his first two homers the first year, but the second fell to .195 with 3 homers and 24 RBIs. He played mainly in left year the first year, although an infielder by trade, then was used as a typical [[utility infielder] the second. He then spent all of 2015 in the minors and after the season siogned with the Los Angeles Dodgers as a free agent.
He spent the 2016 shuttling between a spot on the Dodgers' bench and the AAA Oklahoma City Dodgers. A highlight was hitting a walk-off homer in extra innings in the Dodgers' last home game of the season on September 25th against former teammate Nook Logan of the Rockies. The win was particularly meaningful as it clinched the NL West title for the Dodgers and because it was the last game of the illustrious career of broadcaster Vin Scully. He was on the Dodgers' roster in the NLDS and went 0 for 7, then was replaced by Enrique Hernandez in the NLCS. His name was also a footnote in the firing of arbitrator Fredric Horowitz by the Major League Baseball Players Association, as it was Horowitz's ruling in a case in which he had filed a grievance regarding an assignment to the minor leagues that prompted the MLBPA to withdraw its confidence in the arbitrator.
2017 was again largely spent in the minors with just 15 games for the Dodgers, during which he hit .154, but he was a key performer in the postseason. He was added to the roster for the NLCS when Corey Seager was sidelined by an injury, and he was outstanding, going 5 for 11 with 2 doubles and a triple against the Chicago Cubs. Seager was back for the World Series, but Charlie was kept on the roster and he continued to hit well, going 3-for-5 including a solo homer off Chris Devenski of the Houston Astros in the 11th inning of Game 2 on October 25th.
On December 16, 2017, he was traded to the Atlanta Braves along with Adrian Gonzalez, Scott Kazmir and Brandon McCarthy in return for Matt Kemp. While he still did not have a starting job in Atlanta in 2018, with youngsters Dansby Swanson and Ozzie Albies forming the double play combo, he still saw plenty of action as a back-up and pinch-hitter, getting the most at-bats of his career thus far. He also got to make his pitching debut, tossing the final inning of an 11-5 loss to the Rockies on August 17th. He played 113 games during which he hit .170 with 12 homers and 45 RBIs. In the Division Series, an injury to Swanson pressed him into starting duties and in 4 games against the Dodgers, he went 2 for 12 (.167) with 1 run scored. He had another busy year in 2019, when he again played over 100 games and was the Braves' busiest pinch-hitter. On September 14th, however, he had to be hospitalized after being hit in the right cheekbone by Fernando Rodney of the Washington Nationals. The injury was likely to be season-ending, but the pitch was still called a strike as Culberson was attempting to bunt. Manager Brian Snitker objected vehemently after Culberson was escorted off the field, and was ejected. Culberson was hitting .259 in 107 games, with 5 homers and 20 RBIs.