On December 18, 1993 — Top New York Yankees prospect P Brien Taylor injures his shoulder in a bar fight near his home in North Carolina. Taylor, severely tears the glenoid labrum his left shoulder while after attempting to throw a punch that misses its mark,
The injury will require surgery and cause Taylor to miss the entire 1994 season. The #1 overall selection in the MLB June Amateur Draft will never regain effectiveness and won’t make it to the major leagues. Taylor, had signed for a record $1.55 million bonus.
THE BEST AMATEUR PITCHER EVER?
Brian Cashman, Yankees assistant farm director in 1991
“Bill Livesey is one of the greatest scouts of our era. He told me the best amateur position player he ever saw was A-Rod (Alex Rodriguez). The best amateur pitcher he ever saw was Brien Taylor.”
Gene “Stick” Michael, Yankees general manager in 1991
“His arm slot was exactly like Randy Johnson’s, not sidearm but very low three-quarters. They had the same exact arm slot, only Brien Taylor threw a little bit harder.”
Scott Boras, Taylor’s adviser
“I remember Brien threw a pitch in a high school game. It started in and moved out and it still stayed in the strike zone. The catcher completely missed it and the umpire called it strike three and appropriately so. He was a true phenom.
“I’ve seen the talent now in 35 drafts. Every year, I watch and I have never seen someone like him.”
Bill Livesey, Yankees scouting director in 1991
“He had everything you are looking for — size, strength, athleticism, body type, loose, live arm, the ability to spin the ball. I think the high school game I was at, he topped out at 98 [mph]. It could’ve been 88, the ease at which he threw. You couldn’t tell how hard he was throwing, he threw so easily with so little effort. He was the total package.”
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