MLB Teams Take Top Pitcher Off Draft Board Following Report Of Molestation Conviction
At least four MLB teams have taken Oregon State P Luke Heimlich "off their draft boards" after a report ran Thursday in the Portland Oregonian that revealed he "pleaded guilty to molesting a 6-year-old girl when he was 15," according to sources cited by Jeff Passon of YAHOO SPORTS. Heimlich has been the "best pitcher in college baseball this season" and had been "expected to go within the first two rounds" of Monday's MLB Draft prior to the report coming out. One AL GM said his team “won’t go anywhere near” Heimlich following the report. Cubs GM Jed Hoyer during an appearance on Chicago's WSCR-AM said Heimlich “will be off our board, I think.” Another GM indicated that his team was "unlikely to fully remove Heimlich from its pool of potential picks." However, he then added, “I can’t see us taking him” (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 6/9). Mariners Dir of Amateur Scouting Scott Hunter said that Heimlich’s status "would surely be discussed among the Mariners front office," including Exec VP & GM/Baseball Operations Jerry Dipoto (Tacoma NEWS TRIBUNE, 6/9). MLB.com's Jim Callis wrote Heimlich's draft status was hurt "badly" by the report, as several teams have said that they "won't draft" him. It is "very hard" for a team to "get behind NCAA ERA leader" after the news came out (TWITTER.com, 6/8).