The biggest move during the 2017 Major League Baseball draft may have been the one that wasn’t made. With all 40 rounds of the draft complete, no team selected Luke Heimlich, the Oregon State pitcher who was recently revealed to be a registered sex offender.
Prior to that revelation, Heimlich was considered a sure-fire bet to be selected in either the first or second round. The 21-year-old junior emerged as one of college baseball’s best starters this season, posting a 0.76 ERA over 118 1/3 innings for top-ranked Oregon State. The details within the report from The Oregonian caused some teams to drop Heimlich completely off their draft boards immediately, according to our own Jeff Passan. The rest followed suit.
In August 2012, Heimlich pleaded guilty to molesting a 6-year-old female family member when he was 15. Court records revealed that Heimlich had abused the girl two different times, once when she was four.
Heimlich was ordered to register as a Level 1 sex offender in Washington. He was put on probation for two years, and ordered to attend sex offender treatment. His classes and probation ended in 2014, right around the time Heimlich began his freshman year at Oregon State.
Heimlich had to register as a sex offender in Benton County, where Oregon State is located, after arriving at college. He missed his annual update, which made his case available in Oregon court records for the first time. Officials at Oregon State have not specified when they were made aware of Heimlich’s status as a sex offender.
Once the report came to light, Heimlich asked to be excused from Oregon State’s baseball team as it attempted to play for a berth in the College World Series. The team, which was ranked No. 1 in college baseball, managed to advance after beating Vanderbilt in two games. Heimlich was in uniform for both games, but did not play. It’s unclear whether Heimlich will return during the College World Series.
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