MLB Draft Day 3: Thread

Day 3 of the draft is about to kick off. I will not be providing bios and videos on all of the draft picks today as they happen like I did on Day 1 or 2 but will try to highlight any particularly interesting picks and provide some capsules and comments throughout the day. I will then provide a more in depth summary tonight.

11th ROUND (338): RHP Riley Thompson

Louisville | R/R | 6'3" 206 | DOB: 7/9/96

12th ROUND (368): RHP Cam Sanders

LSU | R/R | 6'2" 170 | 12/2/96

13th ROUND (398): OF Ezequiel Pagan

Pro Baseball HS Academy, Cayey, P.R. | L/R | 6'1" 163 | 7/8/00

14th ROUND (428): RHP Riley McCauley

Michigan St. | R/R | 6'1" 205 | 12/5/96

15th ROUND (458): 1B Tyler Durna

UC San Diego | L/L | 6'0" 205 | 11/13/96

Comments on 11-15: Riley Thompson (BA: 219) and Cam Sanders (BA; 475) can both reach mid-to-upper-90s with their fastballs while also flashing plus breaking stuff. Results and control have been inconsistent but there is plenty of stuff to work with on both, even if each winds up in the pen eventually. Sanders is the son of former Cubs swing man Scott Sanders and All-American softball player Linda Sanders. Thompson in particular is a bit of an enigma as his raw stuff grades out as well as many 1st rounders according to BA but has never put it together on the field. He did miss the 2016 season due to TJS so it might be a matter of getting further along in recovery could help him unlock his full potential.

I don't have much information on Ezequiel Pagan but the Cubs have had some recent success drafting out of Puerto Rico. They nabbed Nelson Velazquez in the 5th round last season and he is already in full season ball. Near this same point last year they also picked SS Luis Vazquez (14th) who has been been one of the top performers for the Cubs during extended spring training and figures to open the season as the starter in Eugene with the potential to see South Bend by year's end. Hopefully Pagan can make a similar impact. According to AZ Phil Pagan has solid tools for CF but has struggled with the bat when facing top competition in showcase games.

Riley McCauley is strike thrower with a similar profile to many pitchers the Cubs have targeted the past few years. He is a draft-eligible sophomore so he will have some leverage in negotiations.

Tyler Durna is a smooth fielding first baseman with a high contact approach a the plate. He only struck out 25 times this season (versus 45 BB). A bit undersized in comparison to most at the position, but he does possess some pull power. Scouting report on Baseball Census.

 

16th ROUND (488): LHP Josh Sawyer

U Texas Austin | R/L | 6' 3" 180 | 10/24/94

17th ROUND (518): RHP Jake Reindl

Arkansas Fayetteville | R/R | 6' 1" 190 | 01/15/97

18th ROUND (548): 3B Jake Slaughter

LSU | R/R | 6' 3" 200 | 10/24/96

19th ROUND (578): RHP Layne Looney

Richmond | R/R | 5' 10" 200 | 07/26/96

20th ROUND (608): LHP Chris Allen

Marin CC | L/L | 6' 4" 180 | 06/13/98

Comments on 16-20: Hey, the Cubs finally selected a couple of left handed pitchers!

Josh Sawyer missed most of the previous two seasons from hip and biceps injuries before returning to the mound in 2018.

Jake Slaughter is another sophomore so the Cubs will need to meet his price tag or he will be able to re-enter the draft next season. They did draft him out of high school two years ago (36th round), so they probably have a good feel for the player and whether they can get him under contract. There is some untapped power in Slaughter's bat. He recorded some of the highest exit velocities on the LSU squad this year, but has yet to translate it into consistent production at college level. He finished with a batting average in the .250s in each of his two years with the Tigers but closed out 2018 on a hot streak.

Indications are that JUCO sophmore Chris Allen will sign rather than transfer to University of Hawaii. He dominated California JUCO ranks to the tune of a 13-0 record and 1.34 ERA, allowing 67 hits and no homers in 100.2 IP, while compiling a 102/23 K/BB ratio

 

21st ROUND (638): RHP Carlos Vega

Southeast Missouri St | R/R | 6' 2" 220 | 12/28/95

22nd ROUND (668): OF Jaime Galazin

St. Johns | R/R | 6' 4" 200 | 05/20/96

23rd ROUND (698): C Hunter Taylor

South Carolina | R/R | 5' 11" 226 | 06/08/96

24th ROUND (728): RHP Blake Whitney

University of South Carolina - Upstate | R/R | 6' 3" 185 | 05/25/96

25th ROUND (758)CF Dalton Hurd

Seattle U | R/R | 5' 9" 180 | 12/17/95

Comments on 21-25:

From this point on the club will likely shift focus to filling organizational needs to fill out their Minor League rosters. Cubs already have a ton of catchers and shortstops in the system, including rookie ball, but that is generally a couple of popular positions for teams to start grabbing filler. Cubs will likely keep grabbing some left handed pitchers.

You're also might see some flyers taken on JUCO and CC players that might be late bloomers. A little later you will see some prep players they know are very unlikely to sign but drafting them gives the team the ability to start a dialogue with the player before they head off to campus. Sometimes it leads to the player being redrafted by the team down the road. We saw it with Delvin Zinn a couple of years ago and now again with Jake Slaughter.

 

26th ROUND (788): OF Julian Boyd

St. John Bosco HS (CA) | L/L | 5' 10" 143 | 09/21/99

Comment: Two-sport star, missed most of 2018 season after he tore his ACL playing football

 

27th ROUND (818): RHP Niels Stone

Indian River State College | L/R | 6' 1" 190| 02/10/99

Comment: Freshman JUCO with a huge arm but control problems

 

28th ROUND (848): LHP Mitchell Parker

Manzano HS (NM) | L/L | 6' 3" 195 | 09/27/99

BA: 281

Comment: Isn't unusual for the Cubs to throw $100K or so at a prep or sophomore eligible player taken late in the draft and convince him to sign. Seems like a good bet Mitchell Parker is the most likely option this season.

Nathan Sweeney in 2016, Jordan Minch in 2014, Tyler Alamo in 2013


 

29th ROUND (878): SS Levi Jordan

Washington | R/R | 5' 8" 170 | 09/24/95

30th ROUND (908): OF Drew Wharton

Clemson | R/R | 6' 3" 190 | 11/28/95

31st ROUND (938): 2B Daniel Clayton

Jacksonville State (AL) | R/R | 5' 7" 170 | 05/10/95

32nd ROUND (968): LHP Jack Patterson

Bryant University | L/L | 6' 0" 210 | 08/03/95

33rd ROUND (998): RHP Tyler Ras

Middletown North HS (NJ) | S/R | 6' 4" 200 | 11/09/99

BA: 188, MLB: 197

Comment: A two-way New jersey prep star, it is his work on the mound that has scouts excited as his low-to-mid-90s FB and changeup are intriguing. But don't get too excited, Tyler Ras is expected to attend the university of Alabama in the fall.

 

34th ROUND (1028): SS Miguel Pabon

Leadership Christian Academy | R/R | 6' 0" 165 | 08/30/00

35th ROUND (1058): OF Edmond Americaan

Chipola College (FL) | L/L | 6' 1" 170 | 03/26/97

36th ROUND (1088): C Campbell, Jacob

Craig HS (WI) | R/R | 6' 0" 200 | 05/21/00

MLB: 154

37th ROUND (1118): SS Henry Vilar

Westminster Christian School (FL) | L/R | 5' 11" 170 | 04/01/99

38th ROUND (1148): OF Chase Hanson

Edison HS (CA) | R/R | 6' 3" 170 | 10/12/99

39th ROUND (1178): C Pierson Gibis

Wauconda HS (IL) | R/R | 6' 0 175 | 08/21/99


40th ROUND (1208): INF Itamar Steiner

Niles North HS (IL) | L/L | 5' 10 160 | 05/09/00

Filed under: Draft, MLB Draft

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  • fb_avatar

    A cursory look indicates the Cubs are putting a premium on the ability to make contact. But that could be an illusion too, or drawing a false conclusion such as the fact that murder rates and ice cream sales often paralle one another. This then leads to the conclusion that ice cream must cause murders. In fact, both increase during hot weather (though this also doesn't necessarily mean that murder is caused by warm weather, but it is at least more plausible).

  • fb_avatar

    Certainly once we get beyond the 10th round almost all the players will have some serious "strikes" against them. If they were REALLY good players they would have already gone by now, assuming "signability" is equal.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    Yes, this the point in the draft for late bloomers, talented but flawed in some way (control/injury/etc), and low ceiling guys you hope can overachieve.

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    Thanks again, Michael, for your excellent draft coverage this year. Always fun to dream about prospects!

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    Excellent job once again, Mr. Ernst. The Cubs have some prospect "hits" in these later rounds, especially in 2016, which always gives me hope that they'll be able to develop some of these picks into viable prospects.

    Michael Rucker (11th round, 2016) and Matt Swarmer (19th round, 2016), who has had a breakout season this year, are both in AA already. Neither have high MLB ceilings as you'd expect from guys taken on day 3, but they've already outperformed expectations.

    Even 29th rounder from 2016, Tyler Peyton, who John was telling us to keep an eye on, has upped his velocity to the mid-90s and is having a lot of success as Myrtle Beach's closer right now.

    Jason Vosler has a chance to make the bigs as a 16th rounder back in 2014.

    29th rounder in 2015, Ian Rice, has vastly improved his defense behind the plate and is posting a .774 OPS in AA right now.

    None of these guys are likely to be 1st division starters but each of them could reach the bigs before it's all said and done, and that's pretty impressive for the rounds in which they were taken.

  • Ok, here's a couple links for Google Sheets where I compiled the Total WAR collected from the players all MLB teams drafted and signed from 2012-2017. Of course there is basically no data from 2016 and 2017 as only 2 players have made it to the majors from those draft classes, so I averaged the WAR collected from 2012 to 2015 for all the teams and sorted it from highest to lowest, and I also did another sort by each team's highest average draft pick. It goes to show that only two teams had higher/better draft opportunities than the Cubs, yet neither fared as well. Within each WAR column I even bolded and highlighted (with team related color) the 3 highest WARs from each draft class, and int he case of 2012, a 4th was highlighted because they were the 4 true standouts. As far as the column that sorts by average highest draft pick number, I just highlighted the Cubs and what looks to be the teams that truly do draft and develop the best, but you can draw your own conclusions with how well they've done for what they drafted. As an example, the Padres get credit for drafting Trea Turner, as the A's get credit for drafting Addison Russell. But it goes to show what teams are best at scouting a drafting some decent talent. I know WAR is not perfect, and it's additive nature means that the older the draft class, the higher the number, as long as the prospect has remained healthy and effective.

    MLB Draft Results Sorted by WAR
    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/11nV4uYkPzl0GMpQi2PtkXXJbQ5CZCGieWcC_fnR5x44/edit?usp=sharing

    MLB Draft Results Sorted by Average Highest Pick
    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1hBm2uf7LqeewDn9-INffdi0t26cp_U4XTXEbdbg62Rs/edit?usp=sharing

    I'm not gonna tell anyone what to think about all this. And I'm sure many will say "you should've done this, or that." If you strongly believe that, then go do it! And I know WAR isn't perfect, but it is very helpful in making comparisons of talent at it's least. All data was compiled using baseball reference, so bWAR was used.

  • In reply to Cubber Lang:

    Lol this is just great analysis cubber and thank you for actually putting the time in to back up your assertions unlike some of the people saying Theo isn't good at drafting I'm sure this took you some time to prepare. When I debated with several posters that not only are the cubs drafting well, but they maybe the best drafting team in baseball since Theo took over all I got in reply is "Oh those were top 10 picks" or "we wasted a million on Hanneman and DJ wilson" instead of actually taking the time to compare our draft results to other BASEBALL teams. Whether springs, berber or another poster has a rebuttal to this or not I don't know how you can debate that the cubs haven't drafted well after analyzing cubbers chart that I'm sure took a lot of time to prepare. To me the only team that you can compare to us would be Houston who drafted Mccullers, Correa, alex bregman, and tucker but even houston completely missed on 2 number 1 overall picks in Brady aiken and mark appel (and passed up on kris bryant) so lets not sit here and act like they've drafted so well.

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    Additionally thanks again cubber because I think these debates about whether Theo is a good drafter isn't even a debate and in general I get irritated reading the discussions on draft day every year so I'm glad someone took the time to actually quantify how we've drafted versus other teams so we can put an exclamation point on this debate. To say that you don't agree with the pick is one thing but to question Epsteins drafting prowess is just ridiculous it's an absolute fact that he's an elite drafter the results versus other organizations speak for themselves.

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    Thanks for the kind words man... It did take some time, basically did a majority of it through some periods of last night's Cubs game.

    The funny thing is if we added Theo's 2011 draft class for the Red Sox to how well he drafts, then he would completely blow away all the competition, as his total WAR accumulated from that single draft is 51.1, and their highest draft pick was actually 19th. This was his 10th year in charge of the Red Sox organization (with exception to ownership in his ear on matters) and they sure developed a nice scouting system there. One can only hope the Cubs scouting system can get just as great in the next couple years. The only other recent draft class that rivals this is the 2009 Cardinals draft with 48.8 WAR, with their highest draft pick also being 19th.

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    Thanks kkhiani... I just replied but it got scooped up in the filter, if someone wouldn't mind releasing it to the wild... Thanks.

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    ...and I don't really expect any of the haters to reply to this because most people with opinions devoid of any factual basis won't really care about the use of facts for the sake of an actual debate. They can stay under their rocks drinking their flat haterade for all I care...

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to kkhiavi:

    Thanks, Cubber, for posting the data WITHOUT excessive interpretation. When you do that much work then the results speak for themselves. Give me the numbers and let me arrive at my own conclusions.

    This would take a lot of work and I think you for your efforts.

    Just out of curiosity did you use bWAR or fWAR? Not that it makes any difference.

    And, yes, WAR is imperfect. For instance the difference between the Cubs and Astros "average" of less than 0.5 WAR is probably a wash in the end, the difference between the Cubs and the Twins/Rockies is vast. Obviously these can change as both have talented young players and many players from these drafts haven't played significant time. The Cubs getting contributions from players so soon after they were drafted is unusual (Bryant, Schwarber, Happ all made their MLB debut within 2 years of being drafted).

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    Baseball reference, so bWAR was used.

    To draw some basic conclusions, it seems that the Athletics, Mariners, Dodgers, and Cardinals deserve the most credit for scouting out the best draft picks while annually picking lower in the draft, but it still goes to show that the best talent comes off the board rather quickly, yet teams still miss more often than not.

    In each year’s draft column, you can scroll and see each team’s highest draft pick of that year’s draft and see what WAR all their players earned from that draft. As an example, in 2014, you can scroll down to discover that the Marlins picked 2nd, yet all their signed picks in that draft class only add up to a 0.6 WAR. Maybe later tonight I’ll sort each year’s column by draft pick order to help further show how the overall WAR produced from each draft year is spread around somewhat dependently on highest possible pick, but by no means no sure thing, as it becomes easy to site more misses than bullseyes.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Cubber Lang:

    I agree with your initial analysis but would like to look into this further before coming to anything resembling a firm conclusion.

    How long does it take you to gather the data for a single year's draft? I am guessing you just go into baseball reference and ask it to give you a team and a year and then add up the bWAR. Is that how you did it (or is it a proprietary corporate secret?)?

    The reason I ask is this can be an interesting ongoing work. If it can be done in an hour or less it can really provide some interesting fodder.

    I also agree that some teams deserve credit for picking later in the draft and STILL finding talent. I would like to see if that could somehow be quantified. A couple quick ideas I had for how to do it would be to multiply the WAR times the pick in the draft. This would be crude as a #24 pick getting 2 WAR would then be equal to a #2 pick getting 24 WAR but might that be interesting? Again, it is a crude measure but it could yield some interesting results.

    I posted a comment addressing the "But outside of first round picks Theo hasn't had much success in drafting players." Even I was surprised to find how few really good players come out of the later rounds of a draft. We remember Hendricks was chosen in the 8th round. WOW! But only 4 guys taken in that round have made it to the major leagues. 3 of them have a positive bWAR. Interestingly, 2 of those are with the Cubs. And I am sure that Hendricks constantly harangues TLS because TLS was 2 spots after of him. Think of all the questions TLS has elicited about being the the major leagues. Think of all the doubts, especially before 2016, about Hendricks.

    Another possible interesting angle would be to see which, if any, teams do well after the first round. Simply eliminate the 1st round pick in a given draft and see who comes out on top. You may have opened a very interesting line of inquiry.

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    First, job well done collecting all that data. I just want to again point out that we took the best college bats in the draft for 3 straight years. Bryant spent 1 year in the minors, while Schwarber and Happ spent less than that. Thus, they all started collecting WAR much earlier than a top HS prospect. Again, I'm not saying the FO sucks or that they don't deserve credit for hitting on the 1st rounders. I just think they miss on non-first rounders.

    BTW-Bryant accounts for 60% of that WAR collected.
    BTW2-I love me some Schwarbs, but had the Cubs taken Aaron Nola with that pick what would our roster look like? It's not fun to think about but we might still have Eloy.

  • In reply to berber31:

    You are right that Theo has not hit on any lower draft picks, but if you go over each teams draft, just by looking at the scores, many teams still have not produced more than a total of 2 or 3 WAR even from their 2012 and 2013 drafts. That is plenty of time for the cream to rise to the top. You will see many teams that drafted in top 10, that you say it’s easy to get talent at, yet they haven’t chosen the correct players. For instance, the WAR from the 4 other top 5 picks from 2013 (not including Cubs picking Bryant) adds up to 4.3. The Astros made the big mistake there, while the Cubs did what’s just right.

    Yes Nola looks to be the prize from the 2014 draft, and we will find out more about that tonight, but if we drafted him instead of Schwarber, it’s hard to difinitevely say that the Cubs would be 2016 Champs without him. Yes our starting rotation would have a much better outlook today, but would we be looking to end a 110 year curse at this point? I’ll take the trade off. As far as the draft, it sure seems like you need to give it at least 4 to 5 years to start getting at accurate picture of success/failure, but you can’t deny that no matter where a team picks, if you have one guy get to the majors and become a contributing player of at least 2+ WAR, then you can probably consider it a successful draft year. So to look at 2012, I’d say about half the teams had a successful draft year, so maybe we need to raise the WAR a little higher to mark a successful draft year, but the results show that the Cubs are the only team to even create a WAR of 2 or better out of each of those first 4 draft years. Interesting isn’t it?

  • In reply to Cubber Lang:

    People act like you're supposed to find one starter level player every draft. It doesn't work that way in baseball and lets remember that our best later pick was Dylan Cease who still hasn't reached the Major leagues.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Cubber Lang:

    Be careful how far you go down the "what-if" rabbit hole. Was Schwarber critical to the Cubs success in the WS? Well, they won 3 of the 4 games he started. But who knows what Nola would have done. For all we know he would have gone 2-0 with a 1.50 ERA. They are fun to discuss but the truth is we don't know what would have happened in that alternate universe.

  • In reply to berber31:

    Yes true. And we would most likely be in year 110 of the World Series drought.

  • In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    LOL 2016 people forget that if we didn't have Schwarber would we have won the 2015 Wild card game vs pitt or would we have beat Stl. and how would that affect our future if we didn't have the success that we had in the 2015 postseason. He also only started the rally that won us game 7 of the world series but no he still stinks even though he's on pace for a 6 WAR season.

  • In reply to berber31:

    I appreciate that you can actually respect the opinions and facts that others present unlike a certain closed minded poster who complains every season about cubs drafts whose name we all know but I won't point blank point out due to my respect for this site. I think what cubbers chart shows is just how difficult it is to draft and develop above average players in baseball the odds are heavily stacked against these kids compared to kids drafted in the NBA or NFL. Yes we've drafted a lot of college kids which helps our team WAR because some of our guys got to the bigs fast but we still rank #1 that's a tremendous achievement and even if you factor in we drafted college kids, we still rank as one of the best if not the best drafting organization since Theo's arrived when you analyze the contributions of our players even compared to other teams like Colorado or the white sox or dbacks. And of course Bryant is going to make us look better but we still had to draft him over Jon Gray and others and either way I think that just illustrates how hard it is to find players of Bryant's impact level throughout the draft. I told you in a previous post even if you're a top 15 pick, the odds are heavily stacked against you becoming an impact player so don't just assume that we should expect to get a superstar just because we have the 2nd pick. The Houston Astros blew 2 straight number one overall picks and they're a tremendous organization that just goes to show you how much more difficult it is to draft in baseball versus the NFL or NBA. You may not be satisfied with the amount of young players that the cubs have developed into major leaguers and that's your opinion and I can't change that but the facts still are that other organizations aren't doing a much better job at developing their draft picks into ML players whether that changes your opinion or not.

    As for your point on Nola, that's retrospective thinking it's easy to go back to any draft and review the 1st round and say "oh see this guy turned out better then our guy" even though the guy we drafted is one of the elite players from that draft class. Frankly, I followed John Arguellos draft series in 2014 and almost nobody was clamoring for Aaron Nola at the time many were very against drafting him actually. Nola was expected to be an extremely high floor 3-4 starter but he's turned out to have higher upside then every draft website and evaluator forecasted. Nobody though was sticking out their necks for Nola to be drafted as high as #4 due to many evaluators characterizing him as having limited upside and all the websites like Baseball america and ESPN were calling for us to take Nick Gordon or Michael Conforto and I think Theo deserves a ton of credit for drafting Schwarber when many wanted us to draft what turned out to be inferior young prospects. And frankly, is Nola's current value higher than Schwarber's? Yes it is but Schwarber is no slouch he has outstanding makeup and I wouldn't be surprised if he has a better career (pitchers have more injury risk too) he's on pace for a 6 WAR season I don't get why cubs fans are still acting like it's 2017 we should all be very encouraged about his rebound. In addition, it's my opinion that we wouldn't have won a WS without Schwarber so while I'm extremely excited about his future, he practically validated the decision to draft him just based off his 2015-16 postseasons and he still has hopefully many more postseason chapters to write.

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    thank you. There's no reason for one to lose their shit over this. It's freaking sports.

    I remember the Nola debate. Again, I love Schwarber and was just pointing it out as more of a discussion on what our roster would look like.

    Just out of curiosity, besides signing Edward Jackson and Heyward what would you and others claim to be the FO biggest mistakes?

    You can't possibly believe they are flawless.

  • In reply to berber31:

    ...but would we have that 2016 title without Schwarbs?

  • In reply to Cubber Lang:

    Amazing analysis Cubber! Data matters and while it never tells the whole story it helps to frame the argument or arguments. Thank you so much for your hard work!

  • In reply to Cubber Lang:

    Damn.....good work man!

  • In reply to Cubber Lang:

    Outstanding analysis, Cubber! I'm sure there are those who would argue that bWAR isn't the right measure, yada, yada, but the results pretty convincingly show that Theo and company are not the terrible draft managers that some are claiming.

  • I've had way too many discussions about this guy for my liking but I think the fact that Luke Heimlich wasn't drafted in the top 22 rounds as he was expected to be says a ton about what teams think about his so called "denial". He'll get signed at least no matter what but I'm happy that MLB teams have made their message loud and clear that players with this type of record aren't going to be rewarded with a nice signing bonus and drafted relatively high just because they maybe talented. For the record I looked into this case and while Heimlich denies the charges and his family supports him, the girls parents who he allegedly touched in her genital area vehemently deny his claims and say that they stand by their charges. That's all I need to hear to have a reasonable doubt about his side of the story and I'm just happy that this type of individual isn't rewarded by being taken early in the draft and he probably shouldn't be signed at all but not every team believes in ethics and values when the word "winning" comes into play. And I say that while hoping that he's learned from this incident and I hope that he'll be a better citizen moving forward.

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    I'm pretty sure he is way too toxic for any professional team to take.

    It does make me wonder, however, why a big collegiate baseball program like OSU would compromise their PC standards and have this guy on their team at all? Smacks of "situational ethics" to me by putting "winning" above all else that is ethical and right.

  • In reply to DetroitCubFan:

    Agreed 100% Detroitcubfan I don't consider myself to be a sensitive individual at all too I'm open minded individual and I'm all for 2nd chances and I certainly hope that Luke gets the treatment and help that he needs from this situation and lives a trouble free life but Swarf is acting like this guy is accused of posting an insensitive tweet on twitter this is an extremely serious charge and for me how can I even begin to give his denial any credibility when the victims family vehemently defends their claims. To me I think the debate should be whether he's even allowed to play in the league not whether or not he should be drafted. He'd probably be in jail frankly if 1. He didn't commit this act as a child so he's treated as a minor and 2. If he didn't come from a family that's well off financially.

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    I also agree that it's disappointing that a team is going to inevitably sign him and it just shows how unfortunate sports culture of winning at all costs really is. Unfortunately these guys do this for a living and jobs are at stake so some people are willing to put values aside in order to win and unfortunately some will look at Heimlich and see him as a cheap and low risk asset for that organization. Just the reality of how business works for certain organizations.

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    I have some empathy for the guy and I understand that poor advice from his attorney and concern for his family, including the victim who is his niece, may have factored in to his admission of guilt. An interesting point is that he was months away from his juvenile record being sealed and it was only a warrant for his failure to register as a sex offender - dismissed by the court - that brought all of this to light. There are most certainly players in MLB (and other sports) today with incidents in their past that would shock us, but we'll never know about.

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    I come from a family of child molesters; there, I said it. My brother was molested (RIP), I was, cousins were. My Dad probably would have been, if his dad hadn’t died when he was 10. I don’t have to stretch to say most of us have been touched by it.
    I can’t and I won’t pass judgment on a anyone, let alone a 14 year old.

  • Let me amend this, I have in the past and I will pass judgement freely, to the likes of my creepy monster of an uncle.
    But as someone, as most of us have, been touched, in one form or another by molestation, not pass it on, so freely to a 14 year old -

  • Wow, no good way to say that, without sounding creepy; right!
    Maybe something like ‘casting stones’ or ‘thou does protest to much’ ???.........

  • Lets hope they drafted some players in the high rounds that should
    have been drafted higher but some how slipped through

  • Lets hope they drafted some players in the high rounds that should
    have been drafted higher but some how slipped through

  • And in the 24th round the Cubs drafted a pitcher out of South Carolina Upstate (Go Spartans) Blake Whitney. Saw him pitch live twice as a matter of fact (one of my twin sons was a coach @ Upstate this year). Blake was having a heck of a year and was their #1 Friday night starter. Really hurt Upstate's year when he went down with a slight rib cage strain in the middle of the season. Really liked the way he pitched. Uber aggressive. Nice risk/reward take in the 24th round. Congrats to Blake.

  • Maybe Theo save all the cash he saved on the first few rounds to sign Tyler Ras

  • In reply to Oneear:

    Wow ! would that make headlines ! Talking about drafting, another top prospect from the Tiger organization Jacob Turner was released from the Marlins today .

  • Wow, who wrote this ^

    Maybe he meant "Theo saved all that cash in the first rounds so he could sign Ras"

  • I am saddened by the appearance of collusion of Major League Baseball teams to not draft Luke Heimlich of Oregon State. I hope he hooks onto a team via tryout or some other backdoor approach. I have been on the fence about this case for a year, but now I am truly upset by the lack of courage of even one team to give him a chance. I read the exhaustively researched piece by Kerry Eggers, columnist of the Portland Tribune written in February last night and came away convinced that not only is it unlikely that Luke ever did anything wrong with his niece, but virtually everybody who knows him, knows that he is not only innocent but an unusually bright and thoughtful person. He was loved by his teammates and his family, other than his brother’s exwife love him and believce his denial.

    The plea bargain according the Eggers piece was an effort by Heimlich to spare his family pain by taking the hit on dubious complaints by his brother’s wife while they were having marital problems. He then had extensive counseling as dictated by the legal proceedings. The published report by the therapist strongly indicates that Luke denied wrongdoing while in therapy sessions and the opinion of the therapist was that he posed very little threat of recidivism even if he did touch his niece improperly, which according

    to everybody involved but his brother’s exwife, he did not do.

    This is such a sad story for the Heimlich family and especially Luke. A top student, Bible study devotee, and quite possibly the best pitcher in the draft. This has antitrust violation written all over it. It is a stronger case than Colin Kaepernick has against the NFL.

  • In reply to Swarf:

    Yeah sorry about your guy Swarf it just surprises me that MLB teams don't believe in forgiveness and 2nd chances. Who cares that the victim and her mother vehemently defend the charges their opinion doesn't mean anything, right because he's a big shot baseball player and they're nobodies? Unfortunate how poorly he's been treated being allowed to stay with his college program and being draft eligible despite these extreme charges he's just really getting screwed by the system (sarcasm alert)

  • In reply to Swarf:

    The father of the victim, his BROTHER, is still not speaking to him, so characterizing this as the result of the vindictiveness of his ex S-I-L isn't quite accurate. Additionally, the article you mention says nothing of the treatment received by the victim, or what HER therapist had to say about it. Luke's 7-page admission wasn't printed, either. The only two people who know for sure are Heimlich and the child he admitted to molesting, and we only have one side of the story. We'll never be sure if his guilty plea was entered to protect his family - or his own backside.

  • Excuse me, but the child has not spoken out against Luke Heimlich, only the estranged mother who does not have custody.

  • In reply to Swarf:

    AND the estranged brother who is still not speaking and does not allow Luke Heimlich near his child.

  • In reply to Swarf:

    AND the mother, father and child are declining press interviews, naturally, so that they do not further traumatize the victim.

  • In reply to Swarf:

    Let's get real if I was accused of child molestation I'd never ever plead guilty even if it meant jail time I'm not going to have that on my record if innocent. I look at the fact he pleaded guilty as a means of covering his own ass which makes sense for a rich kid from an entitled background. He's frankly lucky he's not in prison the victim and her mother had no reason to lie in the 1st place but they certainly don't have any reason to rebutt his denial claims. Pretty obvious what happened if you have half a brain

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    I'd never plead guilty if I was in fact innocent

  • It shows a lot about the maturity and courage of Heimlich to quietly go about being a standout pitcher for a great team with controversy swirling around him.

  • In reply to Swarf:

    The victim, who can never "seal" the record of the incident(s) that are burned into her memory, knows a little something about maturity and courage, too.

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    Heimlich officially undrafted kudos to mlb teams for showing some integrity and it says a lot about what they think about his so called defense. This kids fortunate he's not in jail and that wouldn't have been the case if he came from a more disadvantaged background it's good to have the money to make your problems go away with a plea deal

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    I think it isn't integrity so much as bad pr . I saw today where Texas took him off their board. This from a team that still employs matt bush

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    Also, you don't have to have money to get a plea bargain, plenty of people from all income levels get them. Iit could be any one of several reasons.

  • In reply to Swarf:

    Let him go catch on with an independent league and show both that he can dominate the competition AND be a great teammate without bringing any family drama while dealing with the poor press that his team will surely receive. If he does all that, I’m sure some team might take a chance on him, but he’s got a long way to go and a lot to prove. I’m all for people getting second chances. Having said all that, I don’t necessarily want to see my team give him that chance.

  • So in lieu of drafting Heimlich, the Cubs chose to draft a young man, Pierson Gibis in the 39th round. Here is his story. A much better story than Heimlich's.

    http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20160923/sports/160929324/

  • In reply to Gator:

    Very cool. The Cubs remain a classy organization.

  • In reply to Gator:

    What an awesome young man and incredible story!

  • In reply to Gator:

    More Gibis stories and no more talk about Heimlich.

  • In reply to Gator:

    Allow me to add this great story:

    https://theathletic.com/385172/2018/06/08/how-did-itamar-steiner-a-diehard-cubs-fan-get-drafted-by-his-favorite-team/

  • The bottom line is that not one team had the guts to face this sort of heckling thus harming their franchises and potentially doing significant damage to MLB in a court case.

  • In reply to Swarf:

    Heckling? You think THAT is what prompted clubs to turn away? Collusion? The fact that no team drafted Heimlich does not prove, or even point to, so much as a discussion about him, let alone an agreement not to draft him. If it's that easy, I'm filing a collusion lawsuit against the girls in my High School class.
    As for "guts," I'd say it took more guts to walk away from possibly the best pitcher available than to jeopardize the relationship MLB has with charitable groups that support children.

  • In reply to Swarf:

    Anybody remember Ben Christiansen ? I think I got his name correct. The pitcher who beaned a kid in the on deck circle when he wasn't looking ! The Cubbies under Jim Hendry drafted this guy and it turned out to be a black eye on the organization.

  • In reply to Swarf:

    This young girl (still a minor today) who he molested will have to hear her story brought up every time he does anything. She doesn’t get to sign a big deal. She doesn’t get to move past it. She would get it thrown in her face repeatedly. He can claim innocence & doing it for the family or whatever. It is obvious Heimlich’s perception is different from that of the victims. Which one is correct? If the courts had determined he was guilty and 30 MLB teams investigated for themselves and didn’t draft him, I am going to guess there was something there. It’s not just a fear of bad PR that scared 30 teams away. I mean, Milton Bradley was able to get jobs after his incidents until he became too much to deal with & his skills declined. Steve Howe got busted for coke like 8 times but kept getting jobs. This is different. There is precedent. Jung-Ho Kang is not playing baseball anymore anywhere in the world after it was found out he raped a woman in Chicago & then had a DUI. He would have been the Pirates starter again & still in the league today. The MLB & KBO & NPB have all walked away from him. He is untouchable. So Heimlich is as well. Simple.

    Why do you defend him so much Swarf?

    When it comes to sports the line teams are willing to cross between recidivism & reform has always been interesting & much different than regular public life. That is a far more interesting debate I would love see tackled.

  • Gator, it is a fair question. I don’t know Luke Heimlich, but I have been troubled by the situation he is in, since I read about it a year ago. Recidivism and reform is part of it, the fallibility of memory by both Luke’s niece and himself, the crumbling of a dream, the success of Oregon State, seeing two teammates drafted in the first round when he may be the best player on the team, all make this a fascinating and to me tragic story. It is sad for Heimlich, his family, the team, and potentially for MLB because of antitrust implications. Do I know, Heimlich did not touch her improperly, of course not. The more difficult question is do we want somebody to have a possibility of greatness who from what I have read has shown himself to be an exemplary person for at least the last 7 years.
    And I am saddened by the responses of some who casually describe him ad a molester and seem delighted to see life dream shattered by the cowardice of MLB teams to give the guy a chance.

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