Monday, January 14, 2013

Highlighting top Reds prospects in 2013: Kyle Lotzkar

by: Jon Davis
Staff Writer

#8 Kyle Lotzkar RHP

Up next we have a very interesting prospect, a supplemental 1st round pick in the 2007 draft: Kyle Lotzkar, a 6-foot-4, 210-pound right hander drafted out of South Delta Secondary School in British Columbia. Lotzkar, just like another Canadian we all know, was drafted very high with a lot of potential from our neighbors to the north. Unfortunately, that's where the comparison ends, well at least for now. In 2007 and 2008, when he was only 17 and 18-years old, respectively, he pitched a total of just 66.2 innings. He had an ERA in the low three's and a SO/9 over 11, which was a good start, but then he had a serious injury. He fractured his elbow and had to have Tommy John surgery. This forced him to miss the rest of the 2008 season, as well as the entire 2009. The question came up about whether he would ever pitch again. In 2010, he returned to the mound and posted a 2.03 ERA & 0.95 WHIP in 44 innings with 60 K's in rookie ball. He followed that up in 2011 & 2012 with 179.1 innings & 195 K's combined, while climbing to Double A Pensacola by the end of this past year.

Lotzkar is a big, strong kid who is still only 23. He has two above average pitches: his fastball, which sits in the mid 90's with life, and then his curve. He uses them well to pile up the strikeouts, but still has spouts of control issues leading to high walk rates. He also has a potential plus change-up that shows promise, but currently he does not throw it consistently enough for it to be truly effective, at least so far. Lotzkar struggles to control all his pitches to some extent, because they have such good movement.

Lotzkar will probably begin the upcoming year in Pensacola again after pitching his first full season. He will need to continue to keep his health and refine his control as the season wears on. If he is able to do that he may still reach his full potential as a front of the rotation type starter, but given his history this may be a long shot. The more likely landing spot is that he becomes a power arm out of the bullpen, which may not be a bad thing given the logjam of starters that appear to be piling up.

A look back on the previous prospect posts...
No. 1 - Billy Hamilton
No. 2 - Robert Stephenson 
No. 3 - Tony Cingrani 
No. 4 - Daniel Corcino 
No. 5 - Nick Travieso
No. 6 - Jesse Winker
No. 7 - Tanner Rahier

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