Kyle Lotzkar

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Kyle S. Lotzkar

BR minors page

Biographical Information[edit]

Kyle Lotzkar was a first-round draft pick in the 2007 amateur draft, taken 53rd overall by the Cincinnati Reds. He was the second Canadian taken, after Phillippe Aumont.

Lotzkar was signed by Bill Byckowski and debuted in 2007 for the GCL Reds (0-2, 3.86) and the Billings Mustangs (1 R, 1 H in 8 IP); overall, he fanned 36 in 29 innings. Baseball America rated him as the #13 prospect in the Gulf Coast League. He spent 2008 with the Dayton Dragons, going 2-3 with a 3.58 ERA. He allowed only 29 hits and fanned 50 in 37 1/3 innings but issued 24 walks. He was on Canada's provisional roster for the 2009 World Baseball Classic but did not make the final cut. He then missed that whole season with a stress fracture in his right elbow.

The right-hander did well in limited action in 2010 with the AZL Reds (1-1, 3.33) and Billings (2-0, 0.45), fanning 60 in 44 1/3 IP with a 0.95 WHIP. Baseball America picked him as Cincinnati's 10th-best prospect and as possessing the best curveball and control among Reds farmhands. With the 2011 Dayton Dragons, though, he had a 3-2, 4.32 record. He allowed only 51 hits and struck out 72 in 66 2/3 IP but hit 15 batters. He tied Curtis Partch for second-most batters plunked by a Reds minor leaguer, one behind Josh Ravin, and tied for the Midwest League lead despite his partial season.

He made Team Canada this time. In the 2011 Baseball World Cup, he struggled with control issues against the eventual champion Dutch national team. In the bottom of the third, with two outs, he hit Danny Rombley and walked Didi Gregorius, Sidney de Jong and Curt Smith, only throwing one strike to those three latter batters, before Andrew Albers relieved; Canada would win 5-4. His other start was much sharper, as he held Venezuela to three hits, no walks and no runs in five for the win; Mike Johnson finished it up. Canada would tie Team USA for the Bronze when the Bronze Medal Game got rained out. He got the start for Canada in the semifinals of the 2011 Pan American Games against Venezuela and again blanked them,this time on 3 H, 1 BB and 1 HBP in 4 2/3 IP, fanning 6, before Dustin Molleken relieved; Molleken got the win in a 4-1 Canadian victory. Canada would win their first Pan American Games Gold Medal in baseball. The entire 2011 Canadian National Team would be inducted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame for their historic win.

Kyle split 2012 between the Bakersfield Blaze (3-0, 2.39 in 5 G) and the Pensacola Blue Wahoos (4-6, 5.21 in 18 G). He walked 63 in 112 2/3 IP while striking out 123. In the 2012 Futures Game, he entered in the 7th with a 16-5 deficit, one on and one out, relieving Julio Rodriguez. He retired Jonathan Singleton and got Nolan Arenado to ground to 2B Chih-Fang Pan, but Pan made a run-scoring error. Nick Castellanos singled, but Lotzkar fanned Rob Brantly to escape more damage. In the 8th, he retired Christian Yelich before Bruce Rondon relieved. Though his summer ended early due to shoulder irritation, he was 7th in the Reds chain (between Daniel Renken and Jamie Walzcak) and 4th in walks (between Daniel Corcino and Tim Gustafson).

Lotzkar was moved to the bullpen in 2013 but struggled mightily with Bakersfield (1-2, Sv, 6.98 in 23 G) and Pensacola (0-1, 11.88 in 10 G). He walked 37 in 38 innings and hit 13 batters, plus was now allowing hits regularly, something that had not been a problem before. Cincinnati let the former prospect go. He was picked up by the Texas Rangers and did okay with the 2014 Frisco RoughRiders but control remained a problem (3-2, Sv, 4.93 in 30 G, 40 BB, 65 K in 65 2/3 IP). After a poor start to 2015 with Frisco (1-4, 8.77 in 16 G), he was released again.

To that point, Lotzkar had gone 20-23 with two saves and a 4.70 ERA in 147 minor league games (73 starts). He had allowed 371 hits and fanned 471 in 419 2/3 innings but had walked 230.

He was with Canada for the 2015 Pan American Games. He relieved Shane Dawson in the 7th with a 7-0 lead over Nicaragua and tossed a shutout inning before Brock Dykxhoorn relieved. In his other game, though, he pitched one inning and served up a three-run dinger to Puerto Rico's Anthony García, the tournament's offensive star; Canada still won 11-6. Lotzkar's 13.50 ERA was the highest on a Canadian team that successfully defended their Gold from 2011, becoming the first non-Cuban team to win multiple Pan Am Golds in baseball.

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