Verona's Ben Rortvedt is doing his best to enjoy his senior season with the Wildcats, but it's hard not to notice the multiple MLB scouts in the stands at many of Verona's games.
"I try to take as much pressure off of Ben as possible and try to help him out as much as I can. Those guys are blowing up my phone all day. So, I can only imagine what he's going through," says Verona coach Brad D'Orazio.
Rortvedt has been one of the best players in the state for a couple years. He's already signed a letter of intent to play at Arkansas next year. However, he may never set foot on campus. The catcher is one of the highest rated high school prospects in the nation and could be drafted in the first couple rounds this June in the MLB Draft. That would present Rortvedt with an important decision about his future....college or pro.
"Right now, I try not to think about it. It's on my mind a lot. I've got to come out, play well as a team, just try to have fun. If I'm trying to help the team win, I'm probably doing something right. Then, if I do something right, they're probably going to like what they see."
The scouts certainly seem to like what they see. D'Orazio says the team occasionally has as many as 10 or 15 scouts in the stands. D'Orazio understands what the scouts see in Rortvedt. The Verona coach had the same thoughts when he first watched Rortvedt as a freshman.
"The fact that he's top 50 (recruit) does not surprise me at all. He's the best player I've ever seen and not just physical talent-wise. His work ethic is unbelievable."
That work ethic and talent could soon lead Rortvedt to a chance at a hefty pro contract. For now though, he's just trying to focus on enjoying his final high school season before making a life-changing decision.
"At some point soon, I'll have to come up with a (signing bonus) number to give out to people. It's just going to be what me and my family decide is the best option, the best opportunity. It'll just go from there. It's not really in my hands. It's in the pro hands."