Prep Baseball Report

Central Illinois Open: Preview

By: Gavin Smith
Area Scout

On Tuesday, July 18th, the PBR Illinois staff will host the annual Central Illinois Open. This event is open to all 2024-to-2027 graduates and, like all PBR events, serve as identifiers for future invite-only events, such as our Illinois State Games and the PBR Future Games.

For all information about this event, including how to register, click HERE. To see a list of the up-to-date roster, click HERE.


Similarly to year’s past, this roster is shaping up nicely, and there’s some talented names from both states headed our way next Tuesday.

Two incoming seniors that will be in attendance next week and both impressed our staff this spring are RHP/OF Samuel McArthur (Champaign Central, 2024) and OF Riley Hendren (Normal Community, 2024). McArthur is currently ranked No. 140 in Illinois’ 2024 class and showed well for our staff in a brief relief appearance this spring. The incoming senior threw a fastball that sat in the mid-80s, topping out at 87 mph with quality spin (2400 rpm). The 6-foot-2, 180-pound, McArthur, will give our staff an intriguing look in his first showcase setting. Hendren is an upside athlete in a strong 5-foot-11, 165-pound build. He’s shown a projectable right-handed swing and he’s an advanced defender in the outfield.

Samuel McArthur

LHP Mason Orton (Mahomet-Seymour, 2025) and C Eli Craft (Monticello, 2025) are both incoming juniors that found time on varsity last spring as sophomores. Orton is currently ranked No. 65 in the state’s 2025 class and is an upside and projectable southpaw with a fastball that sits 82-84 mph, thrown for strikes. He has a loose and easy operation that suggests more velocity to come. Craft has shown athleticism behind the dish with advanced receiving traits. From the right side of the plate he has shown a quick and direct swing with potential power. Craft, coming to his first PBR showcase will give our staff an ample opportunity to get an updated look.

Mason Orton



+ Check-in times for all players: 8:45 a.m.


Click here to learn more about our tech partners that have enhanced our players showcase experience. Partners like TrackMan, Blast Motion, Swift, and more that have helped both our in-event evaluation process, as well the compilation of our post-event scouting reports – and they're also a tool for our players to learn more about their measured and collected data, that can be applied to improve upon their game.