It has been confirmed that KC Royals starter Yordano Ventura died in a car accident in the Dominican Republic. He was just 25.
I had the chance to see Ventura back in 2012 when he was an All-Star with High-A Wilmington. You knew the kid had talent, it was just a matter of if he could harness it. I always wished I had a chance to interview him, but since there was no one to translate, it never happened.
He seemed to turn his career around this past season, but we will never know.
It was the second such accident in the DR within a few hours of each other, as former big leaguer Andy Marte was also killed. He was 33.
I grew up around the Blue Rocks and watched many players roll through Wilmington. I met Marte back in 2003 when he played with Myrtle Beach as an Atlanta Braves farmhand. The quiet kid could hit, not to mention he was a nice guy (which is not something you always see with top prospects).
I got a chance to see him again when he was with Cleveland. Marte was playing for Aguilas in the Dominican Winter League finals.
Prayers go out to both families.
It has been a rough day…