Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Baseball [Print without images]

Wednesday, November 7, 2012
Brien Taylor sentenced to prison

ESPN.com news services

NEW BERN, N.C. -- Former New York Yankees pitching prospect Brien Taylor has been sentenced to 38 months in prison after pleading guilty in August to distributing crack cocaine.

The 40-year-old Taylor told U.S. District Court Judge Louise W. Flanagan during Wednesday's sentencing hearing that he was sorry for causing so much pain to his family and his five daughters.

Taylor Brien Taylor, sentenced to three years in prison Wednesday, was the No. 1 overall selection in the 1991 draft and got a then-record $1.55 million signing bonus, but he never threw a pitch in the major leagues.

At the time of Taylor's March 1 arrest, the Carteret County Sheriff's Office said its undercover narcotic detectives and those of the Morehead City Police Department had purchased "a large quantity of cocaine and crack cocaine" from Taylor over several months. According to the U.S. Attorney's office, Taylor was responsible for distributing more than 200 grams of crack cocaine and approximately 100 grams of powder cocaine.

"This is a tragic story -- all too often our professional athletes spiral into criminal activity after an athletic disappointment or injury," Thomas Walker, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, told ESPN in a statement. "I think all of us hope that Mr. Taylor, like many others who have gone down this road, will put their activity behind them and move to a better place in their life."

Taylor was represented by the federal public defender's office, which told ESPN it has no comment and neither does Taylor, adding that he declined ESPN's interview request.

Taylor will also have three years of supervised release after his prison term. The federal system does not provide an opportunity for parole, but Taylor could potentially reduce his prison term by 15 percent with good behavior, according to the U.S. Attorney's office. Taylor is being held in the Pamlico County jail, pending transfer to a federal prison.

Taylor was the No. 1 overall selection in the 1991 draft and got a then-record $1.55 million signing bonus, but he never threw a pitch in the major leagues.

Information from ESPN's Willie Weinbaum and The Associated Press was used in this report.