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asu9856 Profile
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Incredible Story


For those that don't have a subscription to BA, I will post this story. Some of the sections of it are almost too ridiculous to believe.

Entering his senior year at Henryetta High in the fall of 2002, Bryant Beaver was the most gifted raw talent seen in Oklahoma's prep ranks since Johnny Bench. Locals insist he could hit 400-foot home runs with one hand and approach 100 mph with his fastball.

He drew comparisons to Jim Thorpe, the most vaunted athlete in Oklahoma history. The only question scouts had about Beaver's freakish ability was whether he had a brighter future as a hitter or as a pitcher.

"He was really blessed with extraordinary talent," says Brian Kohlscheen, a Midwest crosschecker for the Phillies based in Norman, Okla. "What made him probably a little bit more intriguing was the fact that he was a good prospect as a position player or a pitcher. He was one of those guys who just had a great feel for the game on both sides of it. He was very natural."

Yet five years later, Beaver has not been drafted or played in Organized Baseball. He's out of baseball altogether now after a brief stint in the independent American Association this season, a registered sex offender with little chance of ever playing again.

In 2003, Beaver pleaded guilty to charges of first-degree rape and sodomy in an incident involving a 12-year old girl. The girl was the younger sister of his former girlfriend. He was dating the mother of both girls at the time. He received probation as part of a plea agreement and is now eligible to have those charges expunged from his record.

The independent Fort Worth Cats released Beaver on Aug. 3 after discovering the details of his past. He was out of baseball for all of 2006, a year in which he also was arrested for not registering as a sex offender. In May 2007, he pleaded guilty to that felony charge and received a four-year suspended sentence with time added to his probation.

 "Where he is going to end up is a sad thing probably," says Jim Walton, a longtime Oklahoma-based scout for the Major League Scouting Bureau. "I personally feel very sorry for him because he was blessed with a lot of baseball ability. A lot of athletic ability, for that matter."


Last edited by asu9856, 9/20/2007, 12:20 pm


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9/20/2007, 12:18 pm Link to this post   
 
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Talented, But With Problems

For all his athleticism, Beaver couldn't run from his past.

Born in Okemah, Okla., he is the cousin of former Phillies third-round pick Keith Bucktrot. A full-blooded Native American, Beaver was frequently left on his own because his mother, Alicia Bucktrot, worked nights and his father, Robin Beaver, a former baseball standout, was often gone.

Robin Beaver has been arrested for a variety of offenses, including driving under the influence of alcohol three times, assault with a deadly weapon and resisting an officer, according to Oklahoma district court records. Alicia Bucktrot also has an arrest for public drunkenness and outstanding warrant for bogus check writing, according to district court records. The same records show that she twice was served with eviction notices before her son's 18th birthday, and that she twice received protective orders against Robin Beaver.

"He was real poor," Henryetta High coach Keith Furer says of Beaver, who declined an interview request for this story. "He never had nothing."

Walton says many of Beaver's problems stem from his childhood. In high school, he lived for six months with his Little League coach, Bill Miller, whose son Cody played at Henryetta High with him.

"He just grew up in a bad, physical home situation," Walton says. "A lot of things along the way weren't in his favor. There wasn't a great number of people trying to stand in the background and help him."

Despite his tough upbringing, Beaver made a name for himself playing baseball. As a 12-year-old, Beaver routinely reached double digits in strikeouts in five-inning games. "You knew then he was going to be a damn good player," Miller says.

Beaver's legend grew in 1999, when as an eighth-grader he met Furer for the first time. As he does with all incoming freshmen, Furer threw 10 pitches to him. Hitting righthanded, Beaver blasted home runs on four of the first five offerings. Then he switched to the left side and drove four of the last five over the fence.

"I just couldn't believe it," Furer says. "I got on the phone, called everybody I know and told them what I had."

During Beaver's sophomore year, Furer says scouts began telling him Beaver would be a first-round pick. Furer says Beaver could do almost anything he wanted on the diamond, including hitting homers with just his lead hand on the bat.

"He'd do that anytime you wanted him to," Furer says. "He could just do it. He was a freak."

University of Kentucky infielder Sawyer Carroll, who played with Beaver at Henryetta High and Seminole State (Okla.) Junior College, believes Beaver would be playing in the NFL if he had decided to play football.

"He was always way more athletic than everybody else," says Carroll, who played both baseball and football at Henryetta. "It wasn't just baseball. He was the best football player and best basketball player."

Carroll recalls that Beaver, a natural righthander, once started playing catch lefthanded during a rain delay in high school. After five minutes, he strolled to home plate, crow-hopped and threw the ball over the right-field fence with his left arm.

"I've never seen anything like it," Carroll says. "He would do stuff like that daily. It got to the point to where you just stopped noticing it almost."



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9/20/2007, 12:19 pm Link to this post   
 
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'Not Some Kind Of Pervert'

In December 2002, Beaver, then a high school senior, was arrested and charged with first-degree rape and sodomy after a 12-year-old girl filed a report with police. She alleged that Beaver, then 18, had assaulted her in August 2002.

According to a police interview with the girl included in court documents, on the night the incident occurred, she and her sister were left in the care of Alicia Bucktrot while their mother worked. Beaver, his mother and his mother's boyfriend were all drinking that night. When the girl became tired and wanted to lie down, Beaver told her to go sleep in his room, according to the girl's account. He later woke the girl and assaulted her, the account says.

After his arrest, Beaver posted $40,000 bond and Miller started paying for his legal fees, which ended up costing $7,500. In November 2003, during his first semester at Seminole State, Beaver pleaded guilty to the charges against him. The girl's family had asked that a plea agreement be struck, according to Okmulgee County assistant district attorney Beryl Davis, who prosecuted the case.

In court documents, Beaver said he was intoxicated at the time of the incident. "I do not remember everything that happened that night . . . and I'm very sorry for my actions," Beaver wrote in a statement in September 2003.

The girl, who is now 17, wanted Beaver to be punished but didn't want him to serve 10 years in prison, according to court documents. She said she didn't believe that he posed a serious threat, and she wanted him to have the opportunity to obtain a college education and play baseball. When contacted by Baseball America, a woman who identified herself as the mother of the girl says the family has no comment on Beaver.

Davis recommended that Beaver serve probation, perform community service, and that his record have a felony conviction. Instead, Beaver went into a deferred prosecution program, putting him on three years probation and requiring him to perform 200 hours of community service. An additional six months were added to his probation in March 2006 when he was charged for failing to register as a sex offender, according to court documents.

His deferred prosecution ended in May, meaning he's eligible to have his guilty plea to the rape and sodomy charges expunged from his record, a secretary for the Okmulgee County district attorney said. He is not eligible to have his guilty plea for failing to register as a sex offender expunged, the secretary said.

Beaver's attorney Kenneth Butler, who has represented Beaver in both of his criminal cases, reiterated that Beaver was drunk when the assault occurred and that there were other factors to mitigate Beaver's conduct.

"There were some kind of extenuating circumstances," Butler said. "He's not some kind of pervert."

Davis also says he doesn't believe Beaver is a sexual predator. If he did, Davis says he would have asked that Beaver serve jail time. Still, he doesn't think Henryetta High should have permitted Beaver to play baseball while charges were pending against him.



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9/20/2007, 12:19 pm Link to this post   
 
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Man Among Boys

Beaver was allowed to play baseball as a senior. Dan Edwards, superintendent of the Henryetta Public Schools, says there was more to the incident than what court records show.

"If it had just been the public records and that's what had happened with nothing else, this whole town would have shunned the boy, and they didn't do that," Edwards says. "Bryant's still well thought of."

Edwards describes Beaver as an average student who wasn't a troublemaker. He had a [sign in to see URL] grade-point average at Henryetta, according to court documents. Edwards says the worst thing Beaver ever did was be tardy to class twice, though he did get in a fight once with another student who initiated the altercation.

He was much more than average on the diamond. Prior to the 2003 Oklahoma 3-A state tournament, the 6-foot, 195-pound Beaver batted .607 with 12 homers while going 10-1, [sign in to see URL] on the mound. Then he ramped up his performance in the postseason.

In a 9-1 quarterfinal win against Metro Christian of Tulsa, Beaver pitched five innings of one-hit relief and went 2-for-3 with a solo homer and an RBI double. The next day, he added another RBI double and pitched three shutout innings to close out a 7-2 win over Sperry. And the day after that, he led Henryetta to its first-ever state baseball title by beating Marietta 2-0 with a complete-game shutout.

Throwing 15 straight scoreless innings over three days, Beaver repeatedly was clocked in the mid-90s. Sperry coach Bill Fisher says it was one of the most impressive displays he has witnessed in more than three decades of coaching.

"He was absolutely dominant," Fisher says. "He was an absolutely awesome player. He was the tournament. We weren't bad, but he made us look pretty much like grade-school kids."

Without the arrest in his background, Beaver likely would have been a first-round pick in the 2003 draft. Kohlscheen considers him one of the best two-way prospects he has ever seen, but the Phillies removed him from their draft board. Colleges also backed away after considering him as a recruit, telling him to attend junior college instead.

Beaver enrolled at Seminole State, a traditional juco power that has produced big leaguers such as Eric Gagne and Adam LaRoche. He starred for two years with the Trojans, enjoying more success as a switch-hitting infielder than on the mound, where erratic command limited the effectiveness of his 92-96 mph fastball and plus curveball.

Beaver helped Seminole State to a third-place finish at the 2004 Junior College World Series as a freshman. He went 11-for-16 (.688) in five games, tying a record shared by Hall of Famer Kirby Puckett for the highest batting average in a Juco World Series. In his last contest, Beaver homered, stole two bases and pitched the Trojans to an 8-5 lead before his bullpen blew the semifinal game.

"I remember seeing several scouts who didn't know his background, thinking they'd found a great prospect," says a scout who already was familiar with Beaver's past when he worked the 2004 Juco World Series. "They'd call their office, all excited, and then their faces would drop when they found out."

Beaver couldn't take the Trojans back to the World Series as a sophomore, but he did earn honorable mention juco all-America honors. The Phillies revisited the possibility of drafting Beaver, but Kohlscheen says, "We didn't deem the risk good enough to give him a chance at that particular time."

Prior to the 2005 draft, Rangers director of player personnel Dom Chiti had Beaver pitch for 15 minutes in a bullpen session in Oklahoma City, where Texas has its Triple-A affiliate. Chiti remembers Beaver, who had grown to 210 pounds, as a big-bodied kid with arm strength and the ability to spin a breaking ball.

The Rangers considered drafting him and later signing him as a free agent that summer. Chiti says there was concern about the stigma of signing a sex offender, but that wasn't why Texas passed.

"It was a risk-reward analysis kind of thing," says Chiti, now the Rangers' bullpen coach. "We just thought it wasn't the right thing to do at the time."

Chiti says Beaver was forthcoming about his past and was aware that it would be difficult for a major league team to sign him.

"I thought he was a personable young man who totally understood what he had done and was trying to move forward," Chiti says. "I credit people that do that."

While Beaver went undrafted again, two of his Seminole teammates eventually signed lucrative deals to turn pro. Righthander Drew Miller got a $300,000 bonus from the Padres as a draft-and-follow in 2006. Righty Duke Welker transferred to Arkansas and received a $477,000 bonus from the Pirates as a second-round pick in 2007.

Miller and Welker, who both pitched against Beaver in high school, have differing memories of Beaver.

For Miller, Beaver's talent stands out the most. He recalls a play from 2005, when Beaver made a backhanded grab of a stinging grounder at third. With his back turned to first base, Beaver managed to throw over his left shoulder to get the batter out.

The last time Miller saw Beaver was at a Seminole alumni game in 2006, when he threw 90 mph despite having not picked up a baseball for six months. "It was ridiculous," Miller says.

Welker also was amazed by Beaver's prodigious ability, but remembers him as a selfish player and says he once saw Beaver consume a 24-pack of beer on each of three consecutive nights.

"He was extremely negative on himself and others," Welker says. "He wasn't a very good leader and was kind of into himself. As a player, if I wanted to be on a team, I honestly wouldn't want him on my team . . .

"When he drank, he was a very aggressive man. No one really trusted what he could do and no one really understood what he was doing."

Carroll, Beaver's teammate in high school and junior college, disputes Welker's impression, saying he never saw Beaver drink heavily or behave selfishly at Seminole.

 "He's got a good heart," Carroll says. "I know if I showed up on his doorstep and needed something, he'd do everything he could to help me."



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9/20/2007, 12:19 pm Link to this post   
 
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A Weighty Problem

Beaver signed to play at Oklahoma State after two years at Seminole, but he didn't qualify academically. He returned to Henryetta, where he briefly helped with the high school baseball team. Furer noticed that Beaver was starting to put on weight.

"He'll do anything you tell him, but he's not one of these kids that knows what to do on his own," Furer says. "You can put him on a workout plan and he'll do it every day, but as far as him going out and doing it on his own, he don't know what to do."

In January 2006, Beaver was arrested because he had lived in Henryetta for more than a week and not registered as a sex offender. He was released on $5,000 bond.

Beaver hadn't played any organized form of baseball in a year and a half when Fort Worth signed him in November 2006, sight unseen. Cats director of player personnel Barry Moss says his team took him at the recommendation of a local area scout who said his club had rated Beaver highly and wanted to evaluate him in game action.

 "From all that we had heard about him it was like, 'Gee, this kid is unbelievable,' " Moss says. "He had been this Jim Thorpe. That was the comparison."

Moss says the Cats knew Beaver's past included an incident involving an underage girl and told him there would be no tolerance for misconduct. Beaver told club officials he had to register the address at which he lived, but the Cats mistakenly believed he was registering with a probation officer.

The team didn't realize Beaver was a registered sex offender until August, and also didn't know he pleaded guilty to not registering as a sex offender in May, during the season. Moss says the Cats never would have signed Beaver had they known, and by the time they found out, they said they were already planning to release him because he hadn't performed well.

Paid the American Association's rookie minimum of $800 a month, Beaver went 1-0, [sign in to see URL] with one save in 15 pitching appearances. He also went 1-for-7 in three games as a DH and pinch-hitter.

Scouts flocked to watch Diamondbacks 2006 first-rounder Max Scherzer pitch for the Cats in May, and many were curious about Beaver as well. They saw that he weighed 240 pounds, 30 more than he carried at Seminole, and that his fastball was topping out in the high 80s. The Angels, Marlins, Phillies and Royals made inquiries but expressed no interest in signing him, Moss says.

"This young man has the physical ability to do some things that thousands and thousands of minor league players cannot do," Moss says. "How this can get to a point where it can be developed, I don't know."

Former major league pitcher Butch Henry, who manages the league's El Paso team, notes that Beaver has some life in his arm but says he didn't consider him much of a prospect. The first time they saw Beaver, the Diablos torched him for five runs in one inning in May.

"We beat him around the ballpark," Henry says. "I don't see the folk-story things about the kid."

When Kohlscheen heard that Beaver reported to Fort Worth significantly overweight, he says he stopped wondering if he'd ever reach his considerable potential.

"It just kind of turned off the light switch that was on," Kohlscheen says. "You want to look for the silver lining, but when they keep telling you that they're not willing to work and do the due diligence to get the most out of their abilities and show everybody that 'Hey, I'm a changed man,' they need to move on."

Back in Henryetta, Furer says he thinks of Beaver daily and wonders what could have been for his former star.

"He just thought everything was going to be OK," Furer says. "I feel bad for him. You want to cry for him."

Bill Miller saw Beaver late in August for the first time since the Cats released him. He says Beaver was frustrated about his baseball future and looking for a job.

"He's just stuck now," Miller says. "He wanted to keep playing, but my question is where?"


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"Am I a special motherfucking human, or what?" Barry Bonds
9/20/2007, 12:20 pm Link to this post   
 
asu9856 Profile
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The 5th paragraph from the top is the maybe the most insane thing I have ever heard in my life.

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9/20/2007, 12:21 pm Link to this post   
 
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Wait, dating a mother and her two daughters at the same time?

Clearly he was one talented player.
9/20/2007, 12:37 pm Link to this post   
 
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wait, the mom had to be like 30 right?
9/20/2007, 1:10 pm Link to this post   
 
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i don't know what's more impressive, the fact that his ex-girlfriend was the daughter of his new girlfriend, or that he could hit the ball 400 ft. one-handed

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9/20/2007, 1:17 pm Link to this post   
 
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Re: …


is that his birth given name, or does he just like Beaver?
9/20/2007, 1:22 pm Link to this post   
 


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