Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura died in a car crash in the Dominican Republic on Sunday. The tragic news was confirmed by his agency, ISE Baseball, and the Royals. Ventura was 25 years old.
“Our prayers right now are with Yordano’s family as we mourn this young man’s passing,” said Royals general manager Dayton Moore. “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.”
Ventura emerged onto the baseball scene in 2014 with the Royals, going 14-10 with a 3.20 ERA and finishing sixth in the American League Rookie of the Year Award voting. An important part of the Royals’ rotation over the past few seasons, he went 13-8 in Kansas City’s World Series championship campaign in ’15.
“We suffered an indescribable loss today,” ISE Baseball said in a statement. “Our hearts and souls are broken with the passing of Yordano Ventura. Yordano’s heart and passion for the game of baseball and for life had no equal. Today, we lost a teammate, who never backed down; a friend, who never let you down; and a brother, who always made you smile.”
Ventura, who went 11-12 with a 4.45 ERA in 2016, signed with the Royals as an amateur free agent in ’08.
In a separate incident, former Major League infielder Andy Marte, who played parts of seven seasons with the Indians, Braves and D-backs, died in a car crash. He was 33.