Indians prospect Sheffield receives probation
LHP taken in first round of First-Year Player Draft
CLEVELAND -- Indians pitching prospect Justus Sheffield has pleaded guilty to underage drinking and a reduced charge of aggravated criminal tresspass, according to multiple reports. The charges stemmed from an incident last month in Tullahoma, Tenn.
Per The Associated Press, the 18-year-old Sheffield received probation and was told to contribute $500 to the Haven of Hope charity organization. With good behavior over the next year, the pitcher will also be eligible to apply to have the case expunged from his record.
Sheffield was originally charged with underage drinking and burglary following an altercation in his hometown on Jan. 12. The pitcher, along with two of his former Tullahoma High School teammates, broke into a local home around 4:30 a.m. ET and confronted a resident about a personal matter.
Sheffield was arrested and charged, but then granted his release after posting a $5,500 bond. The pitcher was initially scheduled to appear in Coffee County General Sessions Court on Thursday, but the hearing was moved up to Jan. 22 at the request of his lawyer.
The Indians selected Sheffield -- ranked seventh by MLB.com among the Tribe's Top 20 Prospects -- with the 31st overall pick in the first round of the 2014 First-Year Player Draft. Sheffield was a compensation pick for Cleveland, which was awarded that selection after pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez left via free agency and signed with the Orioles last offseason.
Sheffield turned down a scholarship to pitch for Vanderbilt University and signed with the Indians for a bonus of $1.6 million last summer. In his first professional season in Cleveland's system, the left-hander went 3-1 with a 4.87 ERA, striking out 29 and walking nine in 20 1/3 innings (eight games) with the Arizona League Indians (Rookie Level).