Rortvedt ends dry spell with authority

Twins No. 24 prospect racks up career-high six RBIs for Miracle

Ben Rortvedt is batting .320 with seven extra-base hits and nine RBIs in 15 games in August. (Mark LoMoglio/Tampa Tarpons)

By Marisa Ingemi / MiLB.com | August 29, 2018 11:34 PM

All those RBIs were building up for Ben Rortvedt.

The Twins' No. 24 prospect posted a career-high six RBIs after going without one for nearly two weeks, leading Class A Advanced Fort Myers to an 8-3 win over Bradenton on Wednesday at CenturyLink Sports Complex.


Gameday box score


"The people in front of me were able to set the table and get on base," Rortvedt said. "It's always nice to hit with people in scoring position. After that, it's just seeing a pitch and squaring it up and being able to find the ball and find a hole with it. But really, it's the people in front of me getting on base and then I just have to put a good swing on the ball."

Rortvedt went 3-for-4 with his first career grand slam to extend his modest hitting streak to five games. Even though he's reached base consistently, he hadn't played since Saturday and hadn't driven in a run since Aug. 16.

"All of us are pushing right now because of the playoffs," he said. "To be able to break out like this, it's a pretty close run with the [Charlotte] Stone Crabs, so it helps having momentum. Just me trying to be comfortable at the end of the season, I want it to be a high note to end the year."

After starting the year with Class A Cedar Rapids, it took Rortvedt time to make the adjustment to playing in the Florida State League, historically a pitcher's league and one in which the summer heat can exact a toll as the season winds down.

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"It's funny because at the beginning of the year I got the short end of the stick with the snow, then coming down here in the second half with the heat, I've had both extremes," he said. "But being a catcher, it's really important. Everybody has to deal with it though, so you just try to find comfort in it."

The 20-year-old got his night started with a ground single to right field in the second inning that plated Twins No. 18 prospect Travis Blankenhorn

Rortvedt did most of his damage with one swing of the bat, sending starter Gavin Wallace's first pitch over the right field fence for a grand slam in the fourth. It was his fifth homer of the season and fourth in the FSL. In the fifth, he plated Blankenhorn for the third time with a single to left.

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"I'm settling in now that I know what pitch I'm looking for," the 2016 second-round pick said. "I don't want to work out of the zone. Being patient at the plate, I feel like I've been able to be on time and put a pretty good swing on the ball. It's a lot of plate discipline and knowing what I'm doing up there and being comfortable."

Rortvedt's previous career high was four RBIs, established on July 22, 2017 with Cedar Rapids and matched earlier this season, when he homered twice against Bradenton on June 22.

Twins No. 29 prospect Jose Miranda doubled in one run and scored another, while Blankenhorn and Twins No. 2 prospect Alex Kirilloff both contributed two hits. The win moved the Miracle into a virtual first-place tie with Charlotte in the South Division heading into the final series of the season. 

Marisa Ingemi is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow her on Twitter @Marisa_Ingemi. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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