Prep Baseball Report

Central Illinois Open: Quick Hits

By Drew Locascio and Steve Nielsen
Illinois Scouting Staff

On Wednesday, Aug. 4, the PBR Illinois staff hosted the Central Illinois Open at the Corn Crib Stadium in Normal. The event featured over 60 players from all high school classes.

Today we take an early look at some of the top performances from the day.



Wandel Campana (Havana, 2022) attended the event after showing well this summer at the Illinois State Games in June. Campana is a fluid athlete with a top of the order profile and plenty of upside to his game. The 6-foot, 170-pound shortstop ran a 7.13 (has been a 6.99 in the past) and has the ability to stick on the left side of the diamond. 

Another upside 2022 in attendance was OF/RHP Kayden Althoff (Teutopolis). Althoff has overall athleticism in his 6-foot-3, 175-pound strong frame and showed well in multiple facets at the event. At the plate, Althoff has loose, strong hands from the right-side of the plate with length through the hitting zone and the ability to work gap-to-gap. Althoff also moves with pace and fluidity in the outfield (7.29) while his arm plays loose and strong, topping at 88 mph. Althoff also got on the mound where he ran his fastball up to 85 mph.

One of the more physical prospects in attendance was 1B Carson Beal (Normal University, 2022). The wide-shouldered 5-foot-11, 190-pound, left-handed hitter, creates easy bat strength and bat speed via a simple, repeatable stroke. Beal sits on his backside, lets the ball travel deep and was consistently on the barrel driving balls with authority and natural lift to the big part of the diamond. Middle of the order profile with a feel for the barrel.

One of the top infielders on the day was Brock Bacus (Normal Community, 2022). Bacus, listed at 5-foot-5, 130-pounds, is a spark plug type, playing fast and with a high-motor. At shortstop, Bacus displayed advanced range, quick active feet and natural infield actions; plays comfortably on the move, quick glove-to-hand transfer with the ability to throw from multiple angles. At the plate, Bacus has a simple, barrel-controlled right-handed swing with the ability to line balls to all fields.

6-foot-2, 170-pound infielder William Applegate (Charleston, 2023) is an upside left-handed hitter to follow moving forward. The loose-bodied Applegate hits with all kinds of rhythm taking loose/athletic swings with intent to do damage. Currently, there are a lot of moving parts but when the swing syncs up the ball jumps off the barrel and works gap-to-gap. Also ran a 7.11 laser-timed 60 and registered a max exit velocity of 89 mph during BP. 

Fresh off participating for Team Illinois at the Junior Future Games, C/RHP Jaden Fauske (Nazareth, 2025), put together yet another impressive showing. Fauske is an advanced left-handed hitter with loose, athletic hands, whippy bat speed and should be one to keep close tabs on moving forward. Defensively, he has natural/athletic actions behind the plate, a strong, true arm that plays at 73 mph from the crouch (T81 on the mound), while registering a low pop time of 2.08. High-follow 2025 prospect.

Left/left outfielder Michael Kuska (Pontiac) is an outfielder to follow in the 2024 class. Kuska has the look of a top-of-the-order bat with a simple, barrel-control type swing and moves well in the outfield (6.92 60), which should help him stick in center field moving forward.


RHP/OF Blake Roundtree (LeRoy, 2022) showed the highest fastball velocity of the day. Roundtree is an athletically strong 6-foot-3, 220-pounds and used it well to generate a top fastball velocity of 88 mph. Roundtreee sat 84-87 mph, with equally firm secondary stuff that is still developing feel. Roundtree also stood in the right-handed batters box with a presence while showing off above-average bat speed and some of the best raw power in attendance. 

2024 two-way prospect Charlie Vercruysse (Normal University) is a premium athlete and showed it on the mound with an advanced fastball for his age sitting 83-85 mph, topping at 86 mph to go along with a tight late breaking curveball. Vercruysse was arguably the highest ceiling arm of the day. Vercruysse also topped at 89 mph across the diamond on the infield where his athleticism stands out as well. Vercruysse moves with ease and fluidity all while showing efficient, natural actions and the ability to play any infield spot. Offensively, the right-handed hitter has a compact swing with present bat speed and the chance to develop power down the road.


2022 RHP Quincy Hougas (Normal University) was one of the more interesting 2022 prospects in attendance. The wiry 5-foot-10 155-pound right hander put up some elite spin numbers in his pen, throwing both a curveball and slider averaging more than 2800 RPM, and a fastball that averaged 2569 RPM despite topping at 83 mph. Indicators that you will likely see a velocity spike with increased strength down the road. 

2025 RHP Jaxson Tresenriter (Dunlap) is a wiry 5-foot-10, 135-pounds and hasn’t even suited up in an Eagle uniform yet, but has all the stuff to play right away. He sat 80-83 mph with a lively upside arm that plays clean out of a high ¾ slot. He showed well above average feel for his breaking ball at his age to go with a sinking changeup. 

There were plenty of other noteworthy prospects worth mentioning from the day that we will touch on in the coming days and weeks. 

CLICK HERE for a look at the full roster from the event.