Luke Heimlich not picked up in Major League Baseball draft

ImageLuke Heimlich after a game

ImageLuke Heimlich after a game

Oregon State pitcher Luke Heimlich was one of the best collegiate pitchers in the country, but he was not selected in the 2018 Major League Baseball draft for reasons beyond his on-field ability. After pleading guilty, Heimlich was sentenced to two years' probation, among other requirements.

The 22-year-old Heimlich, a left-hander regarded as one of the nation's best amateur starters, was projected to be an early selection last year until a story in The Oregonian revealed his admission to molesting a 6-year-old female relative when he was 15.

Heimlich was seen as a top-3 round talent in last year's draft after being named the Pac-12 pitcher of the year, but when news came out of his former conviction no team picked him. As for his niece, her mother told SI that the girl is "great" and "stronger than most full-grown women", and that it doesn't appear any resultant trauma has been an issue, but the mother added, "I do worry that in the future that it will".

One of the most controversial prospects in draft history was not selected by an Major League Baseball team. Beavers Head Coach Pat Casey predicted Heimlich would be picked up in the first or second round of the draft. In recent interviews, Heimlich contended he was innocent and had received poor legal advice. "And after that, even when I was going through counseling and treatment, I maintained my innocence the whole time".

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Heimlich told Kurt Streeter of the New York Times he did not molest his niece, saying "nothing ever happened". He did not play for Oregon State past year in the second round of the N.C.A.A. tournament or in the College World Series. He had one charge dropped but was required to register for five years as a Level 1 sex offender, meaning he is considered unlikely to become a repeat offender.

He told Sports Illustrated in May he only pleaded guilty because he didn't think he would stand a chance at trial, and his parents thought it would be best for the family.

Heimlich pitched seven innings, giving up six hits and striking out three, to pick up the win Saturday night as Oregon State routed LSU 14-1 in the Corvallis Regional.

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