Brien Taylor

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Brien M. Taylor (born December 26, 1971) is a former pitcher in minor league baseball best known for being just the second amateur player to be picked first overall in the Major League Baseball Draft and never reach the major leagues. The first was Steve Chilcott, in 1966.

Early life and MLB draft

Taylor was born in Beaufort, North Carolina, to parents Willie Ray, who worked as a mason, and Bettie, who was a crab picker at the local seafood plant. He was the second of four children, named for the lead character in the movie Brian's Song. Taylor attended East Carteret High School. In his senior season, Taylor threw 88 innings, striking out 213 hitters while walking 28. His fastball often hit 98 and 99 mph. In 2006, Scott Boras claimed that Taylor was the best high school pitcher he had seen in his life.

In 1991 Taylor was drafted by the New York Yankees first overall. He was offered about $350,000 to sign a minor league contract, the typical amount given to #1 draft choices at that time. However, agent Boras (acting as an "advisor," because unsigned players were not allowed to have an agent at that time) advised the Taylor family that the previous year's top-rated high school pitcher, Todd Van Poppel, was given more than $1.2 million to sign with the Oakland Athletics, giving up a scholarship to Miami in the process. The Taylors held out for "Van Poppel money," even though they had less leverage because Brien's poor grades in high...
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