|Lotzkar pitching for Pensacola|
There's a really good Canadian-born player on the Cincinnati Reds roster in Joey Votto, but the organization also boasts a pretty good Canadian-born prospect in the minor league ranks as well. His name is Kyle Lotzkar and he was recently mentioned in Jim Bowden's piece that featured a list of Futures Game players who could be used as trade bait. Here's the excerpt regarding the right-hander from the ESPN Insider post:
4. Kyle Lotzkar RHP
The Cincinnati Reds haven’t won a World Series since 1990 and haven’t been to the NLCS since 1995. In a very winnable NL Central and with two wild-card berths, it is likely that the Reds will go for it during this trade deadline. They first made the blockbuster trade for Mat Latos this past offseason, and after signing Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips to long-term deals, the Reds have made it clear they are in it to win right now while still thinking about the team's future.
Remember that Reds GM Walt Jocketty has a history of successful trade deadline deals from his time with St. Louis that include All-Stars such as Mark McGwire and Larry Walker. Jocketty also is not afraid to trade away future stars such as catcher Yasmani Grandal and solid prospects Yonder Alonso and Brad Boxberger; he's done it before and won’t be scared to do it again. Lotzkar could be the piece they use at the deadline to get what they need. Lotzkar has a 3.97 ERA between high Class A Bakersfield and Double-A Pensacola, and he’s punched out 95 in 81 2/3 innings pitched.
The Reds might decide to chase a package of Francisco Liriano and Josh Willingham or Carlos Quentin and Huston Street. If that is the case, Lotzkar will be a requisite of any deal.
Jocketty has shown to have no fear trading away prospects in exchange for major league-ready talent lately. He unloaded some of the best the franchise had to offer when shipping away 1B Yonder Alonso, C Yasmani Grandal, and RP Brad Boxberger this offseason, but will he pull the trigger on trading Lotzkar too? Perhaps if the price is right, I guess.
A little quick background on Lotzkar: MLB.com ranked him as the 18th-best prospect in the Reds system prior to the 2012 season, but I believe his stock is on the rise thanks to a great first-half so far. Lotzkar is currently a combined 7-3 with a 3.97 ERA in split time between Single-A Bakersfield and Double-A Pensacola. He sports a rather high WHIP (1.40) due to his high walk total (39 in 81.2 IP), however, has racked up an impressive 95 strike outs on the campaign. Cincy drafted him 53rd overall in the compensatory round in the 2007 Draft.