Former New York Yankees pitching prospect Brien Taylor was sentenced Wednesday to just more than three years in prison.


Former New York Yankees pitching prospect Brien Taylor was sentenced Wednesday to just more than three years in prison on a federal drug charge.



Taylor, from Beaufort, had pleaded guilty in August to distributing 28 grams of crack cocaine. He was sentenced to 38 months in prison in U.S. District Court in New Bern.



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. One of his daughters is a student at East Carolina University in Greenville.



Taylor was arrested in March. The Carteret County Sheriff's Office said undercover narcotics agents purchased a large quantity of cocaine and crack cocaine from him over several months.



Taylor will also have three years of supervised release after his prison term.



Taylor was a standout pitcher at East Carteret High School, routinely throwing pitches around 100 mph. The New York Yankees drafted Taylor No. 1 overall in 1991 and paid him a then-record $1.55 million signing bonus, but he never threw a pitch in the Major Leagues.



During the offseason in 1993, Taylor threw a punch during a brawl involving family members. He didn’t strike anyone, but the attempt caused serious injury to his pitching arm, including a dislocated shoulder and torn labrum. He had surgery on the shoulder but was never able to regain his pitching form. He pitched for a couple of other organizations in the minor leagues but never made it to the majors.



According to court records, Taylor did manual labor after leaving baseball. He was diagnosed with congestive heart failure, was put on disability and began dealing drugs.



Public defender Halerie Mahan told the court that the injury had a tremendous impact on Taylor’s life with no more baseball.



Mahan had no comment for the media after the hearing.



Taylor had been in the Pamlico County jail while awaiting sentencing. He will be sent to Butner Federal Prison in North Carolina.