Twins Select C Ben Rortvedt with 56th Overall Pick
Rortvedt, a left-handed hitting catcher from Verona Area High School in Wisconsin, is 5-10, 190 lbs. Rortvedt is more advanced with his bat than he is with his glove currently, offering gap power presently, but should develop into someone that can hit a couple dozen home runs in a season. Perfect Game called him the most "well-rounded" catcher in the draft, citing his arm strength and athleticism.
Rortvedt is committed to Arkansas, but is fully expected to sign. He will start his career in the Gulf Coast League.
MLB.com lists Rortvedt as the 51st best prospect.
Only six Wisconsin high schoolers were selected in the top two rounds of the first 51 Drafts, but the Badger State may have two this year in shortstop Gavin Lux and Rortvedt. The latter is the best offensive catcher in the 2016 prep ranks and could be the first high school backstop picked in June. Rortvedt has a smooth left-handed swing that generates a lot of bat speed. He's strong and barrels a lot of balls, producing power without swinging for the fences. He has the upside of a .270 hitter with 20 homers per season, though the demands of catching may knock those numbers down. Rortvedt has work to do behind the plate, though he has the tools to make it at catcher and scouts believe he'll figure it out. The Arkansas recruit has solid arm strength and makes accurate throws. He sets a good target and moves well behind the plate, though his receiving and blocking skills will have to improve.
Baseball America ranks Rortvedt 82nd.
High school players are rarely drafted and sign out of Wisconsin high schools, but the track record for those who do is a frightening one. In the history of the draft there have been 26 Wisconsin high school players who were drafted and signed in the top 10 rounds. Four of them have made the majors, only one (Erik Cordier) of whom was drafted in the past 45 years. Six of the seven picked in the past 30 years have failed to make it out of Class A. Rortvedt, like Gavin Lux, has the tools to escape those odds--he has above-average power potential from the left side with a swing that has leverage. He can get caught on his front foot too often and struggle with contact at times. Rortvedt produces average to a tick above-average pop times behind the plate, but his receiving needs some polish. The Arkansas signee is old for the draft class (he'll turn 19 shortly after the season ends) but he should be picked in the top three-to-four rounds.