Luke Heimlich, a potential first-round pick before his conviction for sexually assaulting a girl emerged in a published report, went undrafted as Major League Baseball completed the first 75 picks of its 2017 draft Monday night.
Heimlich, 21, a left-handed pitcher from Oregon State, pleaded guilty in 2011 to sexually assaulting a 6-year-old girl when he was 15, The Oregonian reported Thursday. The revelation came because of his failure to register as a sex offender in Corvallis, Ore.
Prior to the revelation, Heimlich’s draft stock soared almost into the first round, as he was ranked the 43rd overall prospect by Baseball America.
Heimlich could still get selected in later rounds, as the draft continues with the third through 10th rounds Tuesday, and the 11th through 40 rounds on Wednesday. Teams would not be locked into a minimum signing bonus allocation should they draft Heimlich any time after the 10th round.
He led the top-ranked Beavers to a 52-4 record through the NCAA regionals, striking out 128 batters and posting an NCAA-best 0.76 ERA. But he requested last Friday that he be excused from pitching in the super regional round against Vanderbilt after news of his conviction emerged. Oregon State beat Vanderbilt twice and advanced to the College World Series. It's not known whether Heimlich will pitch in the CWS.
Meantime, digital sports website Deadspin reports that the Pac-12 Network issued a memo on how to avoid speaking about the Heimlich situation.
The memo says flat out "Do not engage in the discussion" and includes sample questions and answers, including this one.
Q: What should the Pac-12 do here? What should the commissioner do? What should the Pac 12 position or the commissioner's position be on this issue and issues like it?
A: As a (host, analyst) for Pac-12 Networks, I can't speak on behalf of the Conference and what it should/should not do.