This morning The Oregonian broke the news that Oregon State ace, Luke Heimlich, was convicted of child molestation, a crime committed when he was 15 years old. Heimlich pled guilty to the crime and was entered into a diversion program, received probation and attended sex offender treatment for two years. He had a sentence of 40 weeks of detention suspended and served no jail time.
In 2012, Heimlich was ordered to register as a “low-risk” sex offender, and did so prior to joining Oregon State’s baseball team. He kept the local sheriff’s office up to date with any address changes, but in April was cited by the Benton County Sheriff’s Office for failing to report to authorities within ten days of his most recent birthday.
It is unknown whether the administration or baseball staff knew of Heimlich’s standing, and neither Heimlich, nor any representative had responded to questions from The Oregonian as of Thursday morning.
Only time will tell how this shocking report damages Heimlich’s professional future, but there’s no doubt that it will cause plenty of uproar in draft rooms with the draft a week away. Heimlich is currently in the midst of a season for the ages. He’s posted an 11-1 record in 16 starts, and surrendered just 10 earned runs all season. His 0.76 ERA is the lowest in the nation and he’s yet to serve up a home run in 118.1 innings. For his efforts, the left-hander was named the Pac-12 Pitcher of the Year, and is a finalist for the College Baseball Hall of Fame’s Pitcher of the Year and the Golden Spikes Award, given to the nation’s top amateur player.
Scouts have been drooling over Heimlich all season, watching him confuse hitters with a four-pitch repertoire that plays up due to his above-average command of each offering. His fastball isn’t overpowering, sitting in the high-80s to low-90s, and that hasn’t been a problem in college, but lack of premium velocity might hurt his professional future.
Heimlich is expected to make his next start either Friday or Saturday against Vanderbilt in the NCAA super regionals.