Chicagoland Open: Preview


By: Peter Hamot
Area Scout, Staff Writer

This Sunday, Aug. 21, the PBR Illinois team is hosting the Chicagoland Open at the Triton College in River Grove, Ill. This is an open event for all high school classes (2023-2026), and gives our staff an ample look at the area's top players.

For a closer look at the showcase details and the technologies we'll have on-site to assist our in-person evaluation for all in attendance, click here. For a complete look at those registered to attend this event, view the most up-to-date version of the roster by clicking here.

EVENT HISTORY

We've been hosting this event since 2013, and it's consistently provided us a look at prominent players who've later gone on to receive invitations to select events, like the PBR Future Games and the Illinois State Games. Since the event's inauguration nine years ago, there have been 232 players who have gone on to commit to play in college that attended this event. 

Last year's roster pumped out it's share of high-level talent, highlighted by Pittsburgh commit MIF Tyler Bell (Lincoln-Way East, 2024), who has long been regarded as one of the top prospects in the Illinois 2024 class, and he went on to maintain that level of prospect status more recently at the inaugural Illinois State Games.

(Tyler Bell, 8/22/21)

This was also the first time our staff saw RHP Tyler Haines (Burlington Central, 2022), who stole the show on the mound after running his fastball into the low 90s, committing to Grand Valley State this past March. 

(Tyler Haines, 8/22/21)

There were a number of other high-level commits to roll through the event last year, such as OF Scott Newman (Glenbrook South, 2022; Wichita State), INF James Novakovic (New Trier, 2024; Purdue) and C Rakim Ali (Morgan Park, 2024; Southern).

This year's roster is already shaping up similar to years past, with a number of intriguing prospects making their PBR showcase debut.

One player we are excited to get our eyes on his RHP Mason Denlow (Evanston, 2023). We have yet to see Denlow in a showcase setting, but our scouting staff identified him as a future college prospect this past spring in-game, filling up the zone with a fastball up to 85 mph and a minimal effort operation. 

Another arm to know that will be in attendance is LHP Ryan Greifelt (Notre Dame, 2023). Having not attended a PBR showcase since 2019, it was a pleasant surprise to catch a brief look at Greifelt in-game this past spring. The southpaw will work anywhere from 79-83 with his sinking fastball and attack hitters with a slider/changeup combination to change pace. 

A 2024 to be on the lookout for this Sunday is RHP Brady Coon (Triad). Standing 6-foot-1, 170-pounds, Coon still has a lot of filling out to do to his projectable frame. With a fastball already up to 83 mph, we can expect to see some jumps in velocity in the coming years to pair off his sharp 10/4 slider which he already has shown above-average feel for in-game.

(Brady Coon, 3/17/22)

Perusing the event roster, we’re set to meet a majority of players who’ve not yet attended a PBR showcase, and we’re eager to add more names to our follow lists.

CHECK-IN PROCESS

Because of the high number of prospects set to attend Sunday's event, it is imperative that you read our adjusted showcase itinerary below, which will allow our staff to swiftly and efficiently educate and evaluate the players set to attend.

Additionally, in an effort to continue and develop contactless check-in strategies, upon arrival, players will scan a QR Code with their smart phone camera that will lead them to a Google Form. On that Form, players will enter their name (matching the spelling on their PBR profile) and hit submit. Upon submission, players will be prompted to click a link that will direct them to their jersey color and number, located next to their registered name.


ITINERARY

Due to state guidelines, and the facility's requirements, there will be a limit to the number of people inside the facility at one time. This showcase will operate in segmented groups, by position, under the format as follows: (Players registered for multiple sessions will need to leave the facility after completing their first session and arrive at the designated check-in time of their next session; parents will not be allowed inside of the facility.)

POSITION GROUPS

  • Check-in time for ALL PLAYERS: 8:30 to 8:45 a.m.
  • Catchers will be counted on to stay for both pitching sessions, while still participating in smaller groups.

MORE EVENT DETAILS

Click here to learn more about our tech partners that have enhanced our players showcase experience. Partners like TrackMan, Blast Motion, Vizual Edge, and Swift 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.

Finally, masks are strongly encouraged during non-baseball activity. We will facilitate a contact-less check-in. Wear baseball clothes; assigned and numbered PBR jerseys will be provided.

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