CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University’s star pitcher Luke Heimlich, considered one of the best in college baseball, was not picked up in the final rounds of the MLB draft.
This comes after the revelation in 2017 that Heimlich pleaded guilty as a teenager to sexually molesting his 6-year-old niece. He did not play for the rest of the season after this came out publicly.
Since returning to the team this year, Heimlich has won 15 games for the Beavers and set the all-time record for most strikeouts at Oregon State. Beavers Head Coach Pat Casey predicted Heimlich would be picked up in the first or second round of the draft.
Earlier this year, Heimlich started claiming his innocence, saying he’s consistently denied the allegations both before and after his guilty plea in 2012.
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. However, the mother of Heimlich’s niece said she has no doubt he did what he did.
An unnamed MLB general manager also told Sports Illustrated he instructed his scouting director to avoid Heimlich in the draft.
Other Beavers players were picked up by teams in the draft, including second baseman Nick Madrigal who was selected fourth overall by the Chicago White Sox.