(CBS/AP) Oregon State left-handed Luke Heimlich, a projected early round pick, is “off” the Cubs’ draft board, general manager Jed Hoyer said Thursday, following the recent revelation that Heimlich pleaded guilty to a single count of molesting a six-year-old girl when he was a teenager.
That news was broken by The Oregonian on Thursday, the day before the top-ranked Beavers opened play against the Vanderbilt Commodores in the regional final Friday. Heimlich is expected to pitch in that best-of-three series that will see the winner advance to the College World Series.
Appearing on the Bernstein and Goff Show on Thursday evening, Hoyer was asked if he could say with “certainty” that the Cubs would pass on Heimlich. After initially acknowledging it was a “hard thing” to comment on and saying it was “exceptionally unlikely” the Cubs would draft Heimlich, Hoyer went a step further.
“Yeah, Heimlich’s going to be off our board, I think” Hoyer said.
The Cubs hold two first-round picks, at No. 27 and No. 30 overall, and have emphasized that they’re focused on pitching. The first round of the amateur draft is Monday.
Heimlich’s conviction came in 2012, and The Oregonian discovered it while doing a routine background check before running a profile on him. Heimlich, now 21, had failed to renew his registration as a sex offender in Oregon within 10 days of his most recent birthday and was cited in Benton County on a misdemeanor charge that was dismissed last month, according to court records reviewed by the AP.
Heimlich’s attorney, Stephen Ensor, said that as a Washington resident who’s a student in Oregon, the requirement did not apply.
“Luke has conducted himself as a model student-athlete since the day he walked on to campus,” Ensor said Friday.
Heimlich is the No. 1 starter for Oregon State’s top-ranked team, sporting an 11-1 record and 0.76 ERA.
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.