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Royals SP Yordano Ventura Dies at Age 25

DETROIT, MI - JULY 17:  Yordano Ventura #30 of the Kansas City Royals walks through the dugout before a game against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park on July 17, 2016 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images)
Duane Burleson/Getty Images
Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistJanuary 22, 2017

Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Yordano Ventura died Sunday morning in a car accident in the Dominican Republic, according to SI.com and Cristian Moreno of ESPN Radio. He was 25.

The Royals confirmed his death, per Jeffrey Flanagan of MLB.com, and Matt Kardos of MLB.com shared the team's statement:

"We suffered an incredible loss today," ISE Baseball, Ventura's agency, 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. Rest in peace."

Dominican officials said there was no sign of alcohol at the scene of the accident, per Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star. Dodd also reported Ventura was not wearing a seat belt and was thrown from the car after losing control.

On Monday, Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reported the results of his toxicology report will determine if the remaining $20 million of his contract will be fully guaranteed and given to his estate. 

Dodd noted Ventura was driving through thick fog when his tires went off the road and that an "overcorrection resulted in a rollover and his car resting on its side on the side of the road."

Royals players Nolan Watson and Mike Moustakas reacted to the news and sent their condolences:

Eric Hosmer did the same on Instagram, writing, "ACE I love you my brother. I'm in disbelief and don't know what to say. I love you ACE 🙏🏽."

 

Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Marcus Stroman also reacted to the news:

Tony Clark, the executive director of the MLBPA, also released a statement, per Daryl Van Schouwen of the Chicago Sun-Times:

And sportswriter Jesse Spector remembered Ventura's pitching performance in 2014 after fellow Dominican Oscar Taveras died:

Ventura spent four seasons with the Royals as a starting pitcher, going 38-31 in his career with a 3.89 ERA, 1.34 WHIP and 470 strikeouts. He also started nine games in the postseason for the Royals between 2014 and 2015, which included the team's World Series championship in 2015.

While he had regressed somewhat after an excellent 2014 season, he was still considered a bright young talent who was brimming with potential and was capable of hitting 100 mph on his fastball.

News of Ventura's death comes on the same day that former MLB player Andy Marte also died in the Dominican Republic in a separate car accident, per J.M.G. Baseball.

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