Benjamin T. Rortvedt
September 25, 1997 (Age: 19 this season)
Birthplace: Verona, WI
Signed via amateur draft in 2016, 2nd round (56th overall, $900,000 bonus)
(He had no Twins Daily Adopt-A-Prospect page in his initial season.)
Ben Rortvedt, Twins Daily's 19th ranked prospect, is a catcher who will go as far as his bat takes him, because by most accounts his defense will be major-league ready very soon.
He grew up near Madison, WI. Here is an article from a local newspaper after he was drafted, indicating the local buzz when this high-schooler was taken: http://host.madison....855c7d8265.html
Here is another photo of him from Spring Training 2017 like the above photo as well:
Ben looks very smooth and assured behind the plate, with a low, quiet, and athletic stance that I have to believe will be looked on favorably by umpires (by making their job easier) as well as by talent evaluators. He also has a strong and accurate arm, which I witnessed put to good use in one of the minor league games in Spring by gunning down a couple of would-be base stealers.
His bat is another story, and fresh from high school he did not have an easy time of it in rookie ball, posting only a .222 batting average across the GCL and Appy League (Ft Myers and Elizabethton, respectively). On the plus side, he showed an ability to draw a walk (10 in 113 plate appearances), and also did not strike out inordinately (10 also). He must like the number 10 because that's also how many RBI he had, meaning that he provided pretty good production from the hits he did get.
Only 3 of his 22 hits were for extra bases, so power is not yet part of his game by any stretch of the imagination. His muscular build suggests to me that this will come.
As a second round draft pick, he has inspired high hopes from the front office, and he begins 2017, not yet out of his teens, at single-A Cedar Rapids. From this observer's perspective, he exudes a maturity beyond his years. How about a little bingle, Ben?