Luke Heimlich is one of the best pitchers in all of NCAA Baseball, but why did the Oregon State product go unselected in the MLB Draft for the second year in a row??
- Nick Madrigal: First Round (Fourth overall) by the Chicago White Sox
- Trevor Larnach: First Round (20th overall) by the Minnesota Twins
- Cadyn Grenier: First Round CBA (37th overall) by the Baltimore Orioles
- Steven Kwan: Fifth round to the Cleveland Indians
- Drew Rasmussen: Sixth round by the Milwaukee Brewers
- Michael Gretler: 10th round by the Pittsburgh Pirates
If you look closely, a prominent name was left off of this elite and exclusive list. Luke Heimlich, the team’s best pitcher (and arguably the best NCAA Baseball) was not taken in the first 10 rounds of the MLB Draft.
Surely he would get snagged up by some MLB team. Right? Wrong. The All-American went undrafted in the MLB Draft, for the second year in a row even after posting eye-popping statistics on the mound in 2017 (11-1/ 0.76 ERA/128 strikeouts) and this season (15-1 /2.42 ERA/ 142 strikeouts) — with the Oregon State Beavers well on their way back to Omaha for the second straight season.
How could someone with statistics and a pedigree such as this — playing for a team like Oregon State go unselected in the MLB Draft? Again.
Nearly one year ago, the Oregonian newspaper did some digging and discovered a startling truth — that Luke Heimlich was a sex offender. At the age of 16, he was found guilty of molesting his eight-year-old niece, where he pleaded guilty of such crime — he’s now recanted his guilt and says he’s innocent, in a recent interview with Sports Illustrated.
According to the New York Times, here’s precisely the conviction that Luke Heimlich faced and what his sentence ended up being.
"As part of a plea deal, reached when Heimlich was 16, one of the charges was dropped and he was placed on two years’ probation, took court-ordered classes and had to register for five years as a Level 1 sex offender, a designation the state of Washington uses for someone considered of low risk to the community and unlikely to become a repeat offender."
The only reason all of this surfaced is due to the fact he did not update his current location upon moving to Oregon, given a citation by law enforcement in the process — grabbing the attention of local reporters.
After some digging, they found some skeletons that Luke Heimlich thought were buried deep and long forgotten. It’s unknown whether Luke Heimlich intentionally neglected in updating his sex offender status or if Oregon State even helped cover it up — but it’s not a good look at all for both parties involved.
Instead of being a millionaire and pitching deep into the minor league system, he’s likely playing the last meaningful games of baseball of his life at Oregon State.
Sure, it’s possible that a team takes a chance on the talented lefty at some point, once the dust settles down a bit. But, for now, MLB teams do not want the bad publicity and all of the baggage attached to Luke Heimlich. But, the likelihood of him playing in MLB ever is very slim to none.
It’s a lose-lose situation for whatever team selects him and for Luke Heimlich himself — look in the comments section of any article or social media post about him. It’s nasty.
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Does Luke Heimlich deserve all of this poor fortune coming his way? It’s evident that his crimes of times past cost him today and he’s paying the price dearly. His MLB career is likely over before it’s started and he can not go anywhere without someone hurling some vulgar remark his way.
Honestly, his niece and the rest of the family are the ones who paid the most substantial price and have to live with the reality of this sex crime every day. Instead of focusing our hatred towards Luke Heimlich, we should be using that same energy in support of the real victim — his niece.
At the same time, Luke Heimlich does not deserve all of the threats and the hate thrown his way from people on social media and at baseball games. I’m sure many of you have nasty skeletons in your closet that you don’t want to be dug up as well.
Let Luke Heimlich live his life, he’s paying for his crimes, and now he’s paying the ultimate price — not being able to play baseball at the highest level, as he’s always dreamed of doing.