According to multiple sources, first reported by Cristian Moreno of ESPN, Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura died in a car crash early Sunday morning in the Dominican Republic. He was just 25 years old.
— Cristian Moreno|ESPN (@CristianMorenoD) January 22, 2017
The official statement from the Kansas City Royals organization (via @Royals Twitter):
The Kansas City Royals regretfully announce the passing of Yordano Ventura, who perished in a car accident last night in the Dominican Republic. There are no details available at this time regarding the accident that claimed the life of the 25-year-old Ventura.
Our prayers right now are with Yordano’s family as we mourn this young man’s passing,” said Dayton Moore, Royals’ Senior VP of Baseball Operations and General Manager. “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 an an organization, but right now is a time to mourn and celebrate the life of Yordano.”
Ventura spent his entire professional career in the Royals’ organization after signing as a non-drafted free agent in 2008 and debuted for the club on Sept. 17, 2013. He pitched in two World Series (2014, 2015) with Kansas City, helping the franchise win their second World Series championship in 2015. He held a 38-31 career record in 94 games and 93 starts at the Major League level, while he also made nine postseason starts before the age of 25.
Ventura made his debut in 2013, topping out at 100 MPH on his fastball. He played a huge role in bringing an AL pennant to Kansas City in 2014 for the first time since KC won it all in 1985. Ventura also played a big role in bringing World Series championship to Kansas City in 2015 against the Mets.
Ventura is the second major league player who has died over the past six months. Marlins ace Jose Fernandez was killed in a boating accident on Sept. 25. Former major leaguer Andy Marte was killed this weekend in a car crash in the Dominican Republic as well. Marte was just 33 years old.
Rest in Peace.