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Justus Sheffield pleads guilty, receives reduced sentence

Sheffield have the opportunity to have all charges expunged from his record if he can keep out of trouble going forward.

Justus Sheffield, pitching in the 2014 Arizona Fall League
Justus Sheffield, pitching in the 2014 Arizona Fall League
Bill Mitchell, Tullahoma News

Justus Sheffield, the Indians' second 1st-round pick in the 2014 draft, pleaded guilty to charges of criminal trespass and underage drinking (he is still only 18 years old), after the original and more serious charge of burglary was reduced. As part of the agreement, all of the charges will be expunged from Sheffield's record if he stays out of legal trouble for the next year.

The charges stemmed from an incident on January 12, when Sheffield and two friends unlawfully entered a home in the middle of the night and Sheffield (who admitted to police on the scene that he'd been drinking) threatened one of the occupants for having supposedly "messed around with" Sheffield's girlfriend.

What Sheffield did was awfully stupid (just how stupid depends on details we don't know, such as the history between him and the guy he was threatening), and it not a great way to endear himself to Tribe fans. That said, I have an easy time not worrying much about this, and it doesn't really do anything to change his prospect status in my mind. (He is currently in the running to be voted by LGT readers as the #8 prospect in the system.) His ceiling would seem to be higher than that of any other arm currently the Indians have in the minors. Hopefully in 2018 we're watching him pitch in Cleveland.