Monday, July 9, 2012

Hamilton, Lotzkar turn in solid showings in Futures game


A showcase of the best minor league talent around was on full display Sunday night in Kansas City as the World Futures squad took on the United States Futures team at Kauffman Stadium. The U.S. Futures ultimately laid a beatdown on the World, 17-5, but both player representatives from the Reds turned in solid showings.

Single-A Bakersfield shortstop Billy Hamilton went 1-3 with a triple, a run scored and two RBI from the leadoff spot for the U.S. team. Unfortunately, the man who's tallied 104 steals in just 82 games so far this season didn't get the chance to swipe one in this one. However, his claim to being the fastest player in the minors (and perhaps all of baseball) is secure after showing off his wheels in pursuit of his 3-bagger.

Meanwhile, fellow Reds minor leaguer and current Double-A Pensacola pitcher Kyle Lotzkar tossed one scoreless inning of relief for the World Futures. That may not sound like a big deal, but considering the fact that the rest of the World's pitchers surrendered 17 runs, 16 hits and six walks...it is. The Canadian native is a combined 7-3 with a 3.97 ERA in split time between Bakersfield and Pensacola this season.

Detroit Tigers prospect Nick Castellanos was named the Most Valuable Player after going 3-4 with a homer, three RBI, three runs scored and a walk.

If there was a Least Valuable Player that distinction would have gone to Los Angeles Angels prospect Ariel Pena. The pitcher was brutally tagged for seven hits and eight runs (all earned) as part of a 9-run sixth inning by the U.S. club. Pena managed to record just one out, thus making his ERA an astronomical 216.00.

Quote of the night: "It was not, 'Are you going to win.' It was, 'You'd better win.' He pumped everybody up." -Hamilton in reference to U.S. manager George Brett's ferocious competitive approach to the game

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