Saturday, May 26, 2018

The 2018 MLB Draft, Luke Heimlich, and the Morality Behind Drafting Him



In a little under two weeks Major League Baseball will host their annual MLB First Year Players Draft from New York. The event can be seen live on MLB Network for the first few rounds of the draft while the entire event is over the course of a few days. Every team sees their future and their potential on these days as all 30 teams look to draft the next big thing. While evaluating a player a lot of things come into play before a team decides to draft a player. Ability is usually at the top of that list, closely followed by signability I’d say, but another huge factor that a lot of people seem to forget about is character. Character will play a huge role not only when drafted and while the player is in the Minor Leagues, but also when that player gets to the Major League level. Character is huge for the team drafting a player, especially a team with a huge market like the market in New York, which is why Oregon State pitcher Luke Heimlich may have trouble finding a home next month in the draft.  

If you don’t know the name Heimlich is a senior left-handed flamethrower from the Oregon State University baseball program who has had his bout with legal troubles in recent years. Heimlich was convicted for sexual assault for molesting his niece when she was just 6-years old, and he was 15. Heimlich, now 22-years old and the star pitcher on the top ranked team in the country, was placed on probation for the crime after pleading guilty and has served his time, completed his community service, etc. that came associated with the conviction. Heimlich states he only plead guilty as a way to spare his niece and family the pain and trauma of a trial but did admit to having “sexual contact” with the child. I don’t see the distinction, but it isn’t my place to judge. 

Heimlich was a Top-50 projected draft pick last season but went undrafted after his criminal history was revealed. Now Heimlich could be a Top 10, or even a top pick in the 2018 Draft, but will history repeat itself once again for the lefty? Heimlich, at the time of this writing, is sporting a 13-1 record with 129 strikeouts this season before his final regular-season start at home happened with the UCLA Bruins. Are there 30 teams that would once again pass on his talent in order to send a message due to his character?  

That would be nothing but speculations, although I can give my opinion on it. Everyone loves a good redemption story and to the best of everyone’s knowledge there hasn’t been a recurrence of the crime. The crime is heinous and disgusting, but not to sound insensitive the crime happened almost eight years ago when the lefty was 15-years old. It doesn’t excuse him from the crimes, and not to defend him but he did his time in the eyes of the law, but if he is sitting there in the first round when the New York Yankees pick comes to the podium… I’m sorry but if I am in that war room, I am taking him. It may not be the popular opinion, but it is my opinion. You draft for talent, and you work out the rest later in my opinion.  

This is bound to be a hot topic, so I am curious… what say you? 

3 comments:

  1. And it's likely that 6 year old girl will suffer for the rest of her life. I guess you didn't really care much about that when you wrote this piece of garbage article.

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    1. Of course I did, but thank you for commenting. Even if you are hiding behind anonymity. I condemn the act multiple times in the article, but thanks for cherry picking what you wanted to see.

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    2. Unknown...Shut up. The post had nothing to do about some one
      'suffering' their life away. And you know it.

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