Pop-Up Player: Kyle Lotzkar

Philippe Aumont rightfully gets top billing among Canadian players eligible for the 2007 draft; the 6-foot-7, 220-pound 17-year-old from Quebec was sitting at 89-92 mph last summer in the Cape Cod High School Classic, hit 96 mph against Cuba last fall in international play, and was pitching in front of more than 50 scouts during a Florida tour by his Academie Baseball Canada (ABC) team this spring. Aumont will be on the mound April 16 in Toronto’s Rogers Centre, and scads of scouts will be on him again.

But BA has learned that Aumont isn’t the only Canadian with serious helium this spring. Righthander Kyle Lotzkar has jumped into consideration to go in the top three rounds with a projectable frame of his own and plus stuff, and like Aumont, he’s only 17 (please, no Winger references).

Scouts and Canadian baseball officials report the 6-foot-4, 205-pound Lotzkar has featured a fastball sitting in the 90-94 mph range all spring, including a tour of Cubs camp in spring training.

“Kyle has improved tremendously over the winter,” his coach in Canada, Doug Mathieson with the Langley (B.C.) Blaze, said via e-mail. “On our annual trip to Arizona last month he threw four innings versus Cochise JC, hit 95 once, 94 seven times and sat at 90-93, (with a) plus breaking ball (late breaking slider) and plus changeup. Kyle generates good movement on his fastball with a downward plane with easy clean arm action.”

Mathieson has some experience with good pitchers, as his son Scott is the Phillies’ No. 5 prospect.