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Top Prospect Beau's Bridges Did Not Lead to the Major Leagues

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Former Player and Manager Brad Mills Saw Son Beau's Big League Dream End Ten Years Ago


One of the popular phrases of the late Eighties was “Bo Knows,” an allusion to multi-port athlete Bo Jackson. He not only was a star running back for the Oakland Raiders and at Auburn, for whom he won the coveted Heisman Trophy, but Jackson was also an All-Star slugger for the Kansas City Royals for nearly half a decade.

In spite of an injury that prematurely ended his career, Jackson is probably the most famous Bo to ever play in the Big Leagues. He tops a list that includes All-Star pitcher Bo Belinski, All-Star catcher Bo Diaz, outstanding infielder Bo Porter, and even superstar outfielder Bobby Bo(nilla).

Not making the cut of course would be the player who retired exactly ten years ago today, a highly-regarded first round 2007 draft pick for Cleveland. In spite of being labeled a “can't miss” prospect, Beau Mills left the sport without ever reaching the Majors.

The son of former Montreal Expos infielder Brad Mills, this Beau would certainly have made the all-Bo team had he performed the way he did in his first years in the Minors. After just 44 games at the Low-A Lake County Captains, Mills earned a promotion to High-A Kinston.

The next season for Kinston, after an invitation to Spring Training with the Indians, Beau was selected as the Most Valuable Player of the Carolina League. That distinction naturally led to his being sent to the prestigious Arizona Fall League, where most ready-for-the-Majors prospects compete against each other.

While his father Brad was embarking on his first stint as a manager, having taken over the Houston Astros in 2009, Beau began to struggle. Batting below the Mendoza line for the first two months, he was sent down to double A.

The following year proved even worse off the field for the once promising first round draft pick, as Mills in 2010 was charged with felonious assault. He and two teammates taunted a man, Theodore Zeman III, at a bar called Whiskey Dicks in Akron.

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Zeman after the beating spent two nights in a local hospital with a broken rib and punctured lung, yet the three ballplayers wound up getting off pretty easily. The Summit County grand jury dismissed the felonious assault charge, downgrading the case to disorderly conduct.

On June 21, 2012 the Indians finally gave up on him and shipped him to the Reds, who immediately assigned him to AA Pensacola. He would retire from baseball at the end of the 2012 season, having never achieved the success most baseball people had predicted.

That same year, his father was fired by Astros after going just 171-274 in his stint. Brad did have a bit of a rebound, when serving as bench coach for Terry Francona and the pennant-winning Indians in 2016.

Fortunes improved for the son as well in 2016, albeit on a different type of field. He bought a ranch in Orange, Texas, where he became very prosperous raising bucking bulls.

I guess you could conclude that, although left off the earlier list with Jackson and Diaz and Porter, this Beau knows bulls.


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