Top Ten Stories of 2016: No. 3 Ben Rortvedt's Path to the Draft

By Steve Nielsen & Matt Huck
PBR Wisconsin Scouting Staff

Over the next few weeks in addition to highlighting the Top 10 Player Profiles of 2016, we will also highlight the Top 10 Stories in Wisconsin High School Baseball during 2016.

We continue the the Top Ten Stories of 2016 with:
#3 - Ben Rortvedt's Path to the Draft

Ben Rortvedt's 2016 high school season culminated with a second round draft pick (56th overall) to the Minnesota Twins. His ride to that selection included a ton of hype that regarded him as one of the top amateur catchers in the country. Here's a recap of Rortvedt's 2016.

2016 Super 60

Rortvedt came into the Super 60 as one of the top amateur catchers available and was well known for his bat. At the event he showed improvement behind the plate and took one of the best rounds of batting practice. 

2016 Super 60 - Arkansas recruit. Muscular 5-foot-10, 190-pound frame, proportional strength, defined lower half, superior strength in hands/forearms. One of the top left-handed hitters in the country, high-level draft prospect; only solidified his status with all-around stellar performance at Super 60. Offensively turned in arguably the best two rounds of BP of the day. Extremely quiet and short to ball, consistent strong contact, power to all fields, naturally worked the middle of the field, high level of barrel awareness, ball jumps off the bat with backspin carry; 103 mph exit velocity. Mechanically quiet and simple; short stride, fluid load, maintains rhythm; explosive lower half, gets off backside well, excellent balance throughout; generates easy bat speed, stays strong through the ball, high finish. Defensively, possesses plus arm strength, 84 mph from the crouch, on-line throws with carry, some effort involved; recorded top pop times of 1.82, 1.88, 1.91. Traditional catcher’s arm action, footwork is quick and direct, agile blocker; athleticism evident by 7.19 laser-timed 60.

Spring Season

Well known for being a power bat coming into the spring after hitting .437 with ten doubles and five home runs as a junior in 2015, Rortvedt was approached differently by opposing teams. He spent some of the season hitting in the lead off spot for Verona daring teams to pitch to him. He finnished the year hitting .444 with 22 runs scored, 12 RBIs, and an impressive .568 on base percentage.

4/12/16 - Arkansas commit. Currently ranked No. 22 in the PBR Draft 100. 5-foot-11, 180-pound left-handed hitting catcher with a strong and flexible frame. Third game of the season, with multiple crosscheckers in attendance. Offense separates himself from the rest of the catchers in the draft class. Hits in the leadoff spot for Verona in hops of seeing more pitches to hit. Projects as a middle of the order hitter with power to all fields. Balanced, relaxed setup at the plate, with a short, smooth weight transfer to the backside. Middle away approach at the plate with good feel for the barrel. Plus strength in the wrists and forearms generating good bat speed. Went 1-3 on the day with a double. Defensively has a loose arm action, showed ability to throw from different arm angles in pregame. Popped 1.82-2.01 in warm-ups, throws showed carry. Still working on receiving consistently in games.

Video of Rortvedt's final high school at bat

MLB Draft

The Minnesota Twins used their second round pick, No. 56 overall, to select the left-handed hitting catcher. Much like Lux, Rortvedt is a gym rat, a tool that helped erase some questions about his defensive, knowing he had the work ethic and athletic ability to improve his craft back there. The last time the Twins selected a high school catcher this high was 2001, with the first overall pick…Joe Mauer.

He signed soon after for slightly under slot value and played in 33 minor league games compiling a .222 batting average across with ten RBIs with two Twins rookie league affiliates.

2016 News on Rortvedt

Top Ten Stories of 2016