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Ben Rortvedt - 2018

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#1 ashburyjohn

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Posted 02 April 2018 - 07:54 AM

IMG_4508.JPG

 

Benjamin T. Rortvedt

 

September 25, 1997 (Age: 20 this season)

Birthplace: Verona, WI

Signed via amateur draft in 2016, 2nd round (56th overall, $900,000 bonus)

Height: 5-10

Weight: 190

Position: Catcher

Throws: Right

Bats: Left

Stats at baseball-reference.com

 

Ben, ranked the #24 prospect at mlb.com and #16 here at Twins Daily, starts the 2018 campaign at Cedar Rapids. This is a return engagement, prompted by a disappointing year at the plate in 2017. He batted only .224, with a smattering of walks and only 4 HR to compensate. However, the aggregate line disguises that he made apparent strides during the second half, batting .273 (with all of his HR), from June onward.

 

Behind the plate, there were no complaints, and if his bat were ready he could conceivably finish the polishing-portion of his training on defense at the major league level.

 

A mid-season promotion to high-A Ft Myers would hardly be surprising if he resumes his production this spring in Iowa. He will still be among the youngest players on his team.

 

Not that Ben would ever be complacent, but he does need to be aware that David Banuelos, whom the Twins acquired during their wheeling and dealing last autumn, is also highly regarded, is merely one year older, and will share the catching duties at Cedar Rapids to begin the season. I'm sure it will be a friendly rivalry that benefits both players. Maybe they'll be the eventual catching tandem (lefty/righty) with the big club in a couple of years!

 

For more details on Rortvedt's background, rather than repeat what I wrote last year I will just refer you there. Good luck, Ben!

 

TD Player Summary 2018

TD Player Summary 2017

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#2 ashburyjohn

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Posted 04 April 2018 - 11:21 AM

Excerpt from SD Buhr's pre-season Kernels Media Night Highlights:

http://twinsdaily.co...ght-highlights/

 

Rortvedt will be largely splitting the Kernels catching duties with David Banuelos. Ben Rodriguez, who has been a catcher by trade in previous seasons, is being converted to first base, though he likely will continue to get a few opportunities behind the plate.

 

"I think me and David are going to split time pretty much the whole way this season," Rortvedt explained, while also mentioning that Rodriguez has been a successful catcher and will be filling the role of the team's third catcher. "(Banuelos) was very good back there in college at Long Beach State. So, yeah, I've been looking forward to it, just learning from each other and talking baseball, talking catching. So yeah it'll be fun."

 

Rortvedt also spoke glowingly of some of the changes in the Twins' minor league operation.

 

"There's a lot of new management with the Twins. We've got a new farm director and a lot of new people. There's a lot of younger faces now and a lot of people are very approachable, which I really enjoy. We've got a new catching rover, which we never had in the past, which is just amazing for the catchers, working one-on-one with us."

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#3 ashburyjohn

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Posted 06 April 2018 - 12:44 PM

Ben is day-to-day with a swollen knuckle after getting hit by a foul tip in the ninth inning of the season-opener versus Quad Cities. He went 0-4 at bat.

 

TD's Tom Froemming watched the game on the tube and remarked on several nicely handled pitches with runners on third.

We couldn't afford fire alarms, so Dad hung Jiffy Pop over the doors.


#4 ashburyjohn

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Posted 10 April 2018 - 09:41 AM

Ben went 2-for-4 with a pair of RBI in Cedar Rapids's 3-1 win over the Peoria Chiefs on Monday night.

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#5 goulik

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Posted 11 April 2018 - 11:48 AM

Good to see he's back and the hand must be better...


#6 ashburyjohn

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Posted 11 April 2018 - 12:28 PM

Ben had a career night* on Tuesday against the Peoria Chiefs. He went 4-for-4 plus a walk in the Kernels' 8-6 win, smashing two doubles and scoring two runs in the process.

 

He earned Twins Daily Hitter of the Day honors for his efforts.

 

In three games, his batting average stands at .500.

 

* so far :)

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#7 AZTwin

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Posted 11 April 2018 - 08:32 PM

Excited about this kid after a strong 2nd half last year after being given a challenge early in the year.

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#8 DocBauer

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Posted 11 April 2018 - 10:22 PM

Catching, overall, still seems to be a real weakness in the system. But from all we've read, heard and seen about Rortvedt and Banuelos, I'm feeling more optomistic. I'd feel even better if Navaretto could learn to hit.

"Nice catch Hayes...don't ever f*****g do it again."

 

--Lou Brown


#9 ashburyjohn

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Posted 12 April 2018 - 06:35 AM

Ben went 2-5 on Wednesday April 11, with a double and a run scored. This dropped his season batting average to .471, but he probably doesn't mind. He did pick up his first two strikeouts of the young season. Ben DH'ed this game while fellow prospect David Banuelos handled duties behind the plate.

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#10 ashburyjohn

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Posted 13 April 2018 - 12:29 PM

Fellow TDer jzenk42 wrote up a nice blog entry about my guy Ben:

 

http://twinsdaily.co...-of-the-future/

 

No surprise, he is very high on this prospect's prospects.

 

Maybe he shoulda drafted Ben in the Adopt-A-Prospect project when he had the chance last month. (A deal could probably still be worked out.) :)

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#11 ashburyjohn

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Posted 23 April 2018 - 08:26 AM

After a long hiatus due to weather, Ben played on the 21st (as catcher) and 22nd (DH). His season batting average is still .321, but he's in a 1-for-11 slide at present. Maybe take a few walks, see if better pitches to hit become the result? Here's hoping he gets the bat going again.

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#12 ashburyjohn

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Posted 25 April 2018 - 11:39 AM

Nice TD article on Ben today: http://twinsdaily.co...o-strong-start/

 

Ben got a single and came around to score a run in the 3-1 win over the Burlington Bees yesterday.

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#13 ashburyjohn

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Posted 04 May 2018 - 08:51 AM

Well, I've put off posting an update, hoping for better things to say, but it appears that after a good five-game start to the season followed by that "long hiatus due to weather", Ben's in a full-fledged slump. His season batting average stands now at .220, and his numbers after mid-April are much uglier than that.

 

My suggestion in an earlier post didn't seem to have worked. Here's hoping Kernels' hitting coach Brian Dinkelman can figure out a tip or two, to get Ben going again. Yes, I'm passing the baton, and saying it's all on you, BD. Time to earn those big bucks that minor league coaching brings you. :)

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#14 ashburyjohn

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Posted 06 May 2018 - 11:05 AM

Ben launched his first home run of the season, a 7th inning shot to right field that plated Alex Kirilloff, in the Kernels' 7-6 win over the West Michigan HubWhitecaps on May 5.

 

In the lineup as DH, he scored two other times, in the 4th when he grounded into a fielder's choice and came around thanks to a 'Caps error followed by a Trey Cabbage single, and then again in the 6th when he singled and Cabbage homered.

 

A 2-for-4 game with a homer, 2 RBI and 3 runs scored is a good night's work in anybody's book. Keep it up!

We couldn't afford fire alarms, so Dad hung Jiffy Pop over the doors.


#15 goulik

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Posted 10 May 2018 - 02:05 PM

 

Ben launched his first home run of the season, a 7th inning shot to right field that plated Alex Kirilloff, in the Kernels' 7-6 win over the West Michigan HubWhitecaps on May 5.

 

In the lineup as DH, he scored two other times, in the 4th when he grounded into a fielder's choice and came around thanks to a 'Caps error followed by a Trey Cabbage single, and then again in the 6th when he singled and Cabbage homered.

 

A 2-for-4 game with a homer, 2 RBI and 3 runs scored is a good night's work in anybody's book. Keep it up!

I credit Brian Dinkelman for ALL of this

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#16 ashburyjohn

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Posted 19 May 2018 - 10:44 AM

Since last report, Ben has had only so-so results at the plate. His batting average for the past 9 games has been .212, and though he's supplemented this with some walks and a smattering of power (2 doubles and a triple among his 7 hits), it's really not moving the needle.

 

His season OPS stands at a mediocre .652. Fifty points tacked on to the .231 batting average would make a world of difference.

 

At this point I'm envisioning the 20-year old remaining at Cedar Rapids for the full season, rather than getting a mid-year callup to Ft Myers. Hope he can find a way to dial it up a notch, though.

We couldn't afford fire alarms, so Dad hung Jiffy Pop over the doors.


#17 ashburyjohn

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Posted 20 May 2018 - 09:20 PM

Strong game for Ben today against the Clinton Whitewaters. Two base hits in four at bats, and he even stole a base in the sixth inning. Better still, he threw out would-be base stealer Billy Cooke in the fourth.

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#18 ashburyjohn

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Posted 25 May 2018 - 10:52 PM

Ben followed a two-hit game yesterday, against Kane County, with a 3-for-3 performance tonight versus Clinton. He scored a run and drove in a run, with one of his hits being a triple to left, and he also walked once. All this raises his season batting average to .263. Keep it up!

We couldn't afford fire alarms, so Dad hung Jiffy Pop over the doors.


#19 ashburyjohn

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Posted 01 June 2018 - 10:13 AM

Since last report Ben has run his hitting streak to 6 games, capped (for now) with a 3-for-4 performance against the Wisconsin Rimber Tattlers on May 30. He got a couple of doubles, and also a walk, while batting in a run and scoring one of his own.

 

His season batting average now stands at .285 and his OPS is a respectable .740. Things are moving in the right direction and a mid-season promotion to Ft Myers doesn't seem far-fetched.

We couldn't afford fire alarms, so Dad hung Jiffy Pop over the doors.


#20 ashburyjohn

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Posted 02 June 2018 - 10:34 PM

Ho hum, another multi-hit game for Rortvedt, this time going 2-for-5 including a double, and driving in two runs in a 7-5 win over the Burlington Dee-Minuses.Saturday evening. Thus starts another hitting streak, after his 6-gamer was snapped the night before.

We couldn't afford fire alarms, so Dad hung Jiffy Pop over the doors.