Prep Baseball Report

Central Illinois Open: Quick Hits

By: Illinois Scouting Staff

On Tuesday, July 12th, the PBR Illinois staff traveled to The Corn Crib in Normal, IL, to host the annual Central Illinois Open. This event was open to all 2023-to-2026 graduates and featured more than 50 prospects from the Central Illinois region, allowing our scouts an opportunity to check-in on these athletes as the summer rolls on. 

For a complete list of players in attendance, click HERE. To see all of the statistics from the event, click HERE

Now, at the event’s conclusion, we’ll highlight some of the day’s standouts inside these ‘Quick Hits’. We’ll continue to roll-out content from this event as the week progresses, including a statistical analysis and data dive, so be on the lookout for that. For now, read below to learn about the top performers from this year’s Central Illinois Open event. 


+ RHP Kolten Schmoll-Burton (Geneseo, 2025) came away a winner from Tuesday’s event, boasting the strongest arm off the mound in attendance with a max fastball of 84.4 mph. His fastball played with heavy sink through the zone and sat in the 80-83 mph range. The right-hander then went to a sinker, acting as a changeup at times due to the speed differential; playing at 74-75 mph with fading action and thrown with intent. His next offering was a cutter in the 66-67 mph range, playing with sliding 10/4 action and an average of -15.3 inches of horizontal movement; also showing a legitimate chance to develop into an out-pitch as a slider. His final offering was an 11/5 curveball in the 64-65 mph range with developing shape.

+ RHP Wyatt Beer (Mascoutah, 2024) was another right-hander that had a strong showing on Tuesday. The 5-foot-10, 180-pound rising junior uses all of his frame to help create momentum down the mound; working with a powerful drop/drive lower-half with his back knee staying over the rubber before striding out, remaining in-line to the plate throughout. On top of this efficient delivery, Beer also showed off a four-pitch mix. His fastball plays with life through the zone at 80-82 mph, flashing some ride to the plate with arm-side running action at times. He went on to display two breaking balls throughout his pen; the first being a sharp 10/4  curveball, flashing 11/5 at times but playing with depth consistently, 70-71 mph. His second breaking ball was also off a 10/4 plane but played with more of a sweeping action, remaining sharp at 70-72 mph. His final offering was a changeup at 74-76 mph that he threw with fastball intent, flashing downward action when he stayed on top of the ball. 

+ One of the top rising senior arms in attendance Tuesday was RHP Cole Martz (Huntington North (IN), 2023). Athletically built at 6-foot, 180-pounds, Martz moves down the mound with fluidity and efficiency; working with a drop/drive lower-half and striding directly in-line with the plate. His fastball sat in the 82-84 mph range with late arm-side movement through the zone, also creating an average IVB of 18 inches with a max of 21 inches. His curveball shows potential to be an out-pitch in the future, playing off an 11/5 plane and flashing sharp action with depth, 66-68 mph (T2,318 RPM). His final offering was a straight changeup at 65-68 mph. 

+ RHP James Hess (Charleston, 2023) was an intriguing 6-foot-3, 185-pound right-hander who displayed a quality three-pitch mix. His fastball played heavy through the zone with sinking action, sitting at 82-83 mph from a ¾ slot. His slider looked to have out-pitch potential, playing with sharp 10/4 shape and late bite, 74-75 mph. Hess’ final offering was a late sinking changeup at 75-76 mph, thrown with intent and for strikes. 

+ RHP Jack Wisdom (Bloomington Central Catholic, 2024) gave a strong look on Tuesday, working his fastball in the 78-80 mph range with arm-side life at times. His curveball was sharp and played off an 11/5 plane, thrown for strikes often. His last offering was a straight changeup, 72-75 mph. 

+ RHP Trey Carter (Williamsville, 2023) had one of the more polished arsenals in attendance on Tuesday. The right-hander’s fastball cruised right at 80 mph throughout his pen, running through the zone with action to his arm-side. He went to two different breaking balls; the first being a curveball at 62-65 mph (T2,304 RPM) with sharp 11/5 action, and the second being a sweeping slider at 70-71 mph. His final offering was a changeup at 71-72 mph, thrown with intent and fading action to his arm-side. 

+ RHP Keegan Schultz (Altamont, 2025) has upside in his fluid moving 5-foot-11, 165-pound frame. The right-hander works with a flexible operation, moving into a drop/drive lower-half with a long/athletic stride, remaining in-line with the plate and creating noteworthy hip/shoulder separation at foot-strike. His fastball sat in the 74-76 mph range and paired off a downer 11/5 breaking ball, 55-60 mph. 


+ INF/RHP Taylor Voorhees (St. Joseph Ogden, 2023) took a quality round of BP, repeating hard lifted contact off the barrel from a simple right-handed stroke, peaking at 92.7 mph. Voorhees showed easy bat speed with loose hands and put up some of the day’s best Blast Motion swing metrics, too. Moving over to the mound, Voorhees was one of the cleanest movers in attendance; working with an up-tempo pace into balance point, his leg-kick swings up high before dropping into his lower-half, shoulders tilting uphill before striding in-line down the mound. The right-hander’s fastball sat in the 80-81 mph range throughout his pen, averaging 20.2 inches of IVB with a max of 22 inches. He also showed the ability to spin two different breaking balls; the first being a sharp 11/5 curveball at 68-71 mph, and the second being a 10/4 slider with sharp sweeping action, 71-73 mph. To round out his arsenal he went to a fading changeup at 72-75 mph.

+ OF/RHP Blake Norton (Salt Fork, 2023) left a positive impression on our scouts in his PBR event debut. The 6-foot-3, 195-pound uncommitted incoming senior started his day off with a quality BP round, staying on the barrel with gap-to-gap feel. Norton’s furthest batted ball traveled 344 feet - the highest mark of the entire event. He also tied for the hardest throw home from the outfield at 88 mph. His arm easily translated over to the mound, working up to 81 mph with a max IVB of 21.4, averaging 17.1. Also showing the ability to spin a 12/6 breaking ball at 64-65 mph and a downer changeup at 77-79 mph. 


+ OF Jake Morrill (Normal West, 2023) was arguably the day’s most impressive prospect from a position player standpoint, showing well in all aspects of his workout. Built at a strong 6-foot, 175-pounds, Morrill took a loud, polished round of BP from the left side, repeating hard, backspun contact off his barrel. He recorded the day’s hardest hit ball (97 mph) and also posted the second-highest average exit velocity (87.6 mph) of the event. Defensively, Morrill showed clean, athletic actions from the outfield and played through the baseball in rhythm. He’s an uncommitted name-to-know from the Central Illinois area. 

+ Another uncommitted incoming senior to note from this event is 3B/OF Cam Semelroth (Limestone, 2023). A strong, compact athlete, Semelroth repeated hard contact off the barrel with relative ease from a quick right-handed stroke with hand speed (23.5 mph average). He averaged an event-high 89.5 mph off the barrel and peaked at 93.7 mph, launching his furthest batted ball at 337 feet, tying for the day’s second-highest mark. 

+ A winner from the Peoria Preseason ID this winter, C/OF Griffin Graue (Glenwood, 2023) put together another strong, well-rounded performance on Tuesday. The 6-foot-2, 175-pound Graue repeatedly drove balls to the pull-side of the field from a fast, compact right-handed stroke, recording the day’s second-hardest hit ball at 95 mph. Defensively, Graue showed athleticism behind the plate with a quick release, popping in the 2.06-to-2.16 range with accuracy around the bag. He took a clean round of outfield defense as well, working on-line to his target with an 86 mph high to home. 

+ OF Devan Tupper (Normal University, 2024) is one of the more athletic uncommitted prospects in the 2024 class. The 6-foot-2, 170-pound, high-ceiling right-handed hitter ran a 6.81, was 88 mph from the outfield and was one of the top performers when it came to the athletic testing portion of the event. There is all kinds of bat speed and twitch in the swing and he looks to be just tapping into his high-ceiling potential. Highly-athletic 2024 to follow moving forward.

+ INF Kaedin Bond (LaSalle-Peru) showed an intriguing right-handed bat for a 2025 prospect. Bond, a 5-foot-10, 165-pound prospect, has a quiet, fluid swing that works with easy effort and the bat stays through the hitting zone a long time. Bond consistently worked the middle of the field and as he continues to gain polish and timing to his approach his bat should be one to follow moving forward. 

+ INF Aiden Cicogna (Stillman Valley, 2024) showed some of the top infield actions on the day. Cicogna has a lean 5-foot-7, 130-pound frame but plays fast on the infield with athletic actions, clean footwork and plays well on the move. Cicogna is comfortable ranging to both directions, is smooth on the double play turn and his arm played accurately at 75 mph across the diamond.