According to several different sources, including Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports on Twitter, Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura died in a car crash early Sunday morning in the town of Juan Adrian in the Dominican Republic.
Ventura, 25, was a hard-throwing righty with loads of potential.
In a statement issued by the Royals in regards to the death of Ventura, Senior VP of Baseball Operations and General Manager Dayton Moore had the following to say:
“Our prayers right now are with Yordano’s family as we mourn this young man’s passing. He was so young and so talented, full of youthful exuberance and always brought a smile to everyone he interacted with. We will get through this as an organization, but right now is a time to mourn and celebrate the life of Yordano.”
After signing with the Royals in 2008 as an international free agent, Ventura peaked as the Baseball America’s 26th ranked prospect in baseball in 2013.
2014 saw Ventura pitch in the first and statistically best season of his career.
The young righty started 30 games for the Royals, pitching to a 14-10 record, with a 3.20 ERA, finishing sixth in American League Rookie of the Year voting.
Eerily, Ventura’s stand-out moment came in the 2014 World Series. After learning of fellow Dominican Republic born Oscar Taveras’ death, also in a car crash, Ventura fired seven shutout innings against the San Francisco Giants to force a game seven.
Though the Royals went on to lose, Ventura was able to capture a World Series ring the next year in 2015 against the Mets, despite losing the one game he started.
In a separate car accident in the Dominican Republic on Sunday, former big league infielder Andy Marte was killed.
Marte’s agency, J.M.G. baseball had the following to say on Twitter:
“Words can’t express the emotions from the loss of our client Andy Marte. Gone too soon. A great person on and off the field.”
Marte, 33, broke into baseball with the Atlanta Braves in 2005, before playing for the Cleveland Indians from 2006-2010.
In 2014, Marte returned to the bigs, appearing in six games for the Arizona Diamondbacks.
This is the second and third time in five months that the baseball world have lost precious, young lives after Jose Fernandez was killed in a boating accident in September.
Our hearts here at MMO go out to the families of both Yordano Ventura and Andy Marte during this very tragic and hard time.