Kansas City Royals right-hander Yordano Ventura was killed in a car crash in his native Dominican Republic on Sunday. He was 25 years old.
Both the Royals and Major League Baseball have confirmed Ventura's death. The team released the following statement:
Official statement from the Kansas City Royals organization. pic.twitter.com/AgInmjHWAB— Kansas City Royals (@Royals) January 22, 2017
Tony Clark, executive director of the players union, issued the following statement about Ventura's death as well as Andy Marte's death. Marte -- who spent time in the MLB with the Atlanta Braves, Cleveland Indians and Arizona Diamondbacks before signing with the KT Wiz of the Korean KBO League in 2015 -- was killed in a separate car crash in the Dominican Republic on Sunday.
Ventura originally signed with Kansas City as an amateur free agent in 2008. He reached the big leagues in September 2013 and had been a mainstay in their rotation since. Ventura was part of the club's 2014 AL pennant and 2015 World Series rotations.
During Game 6 of the 2014 World Series, Ventura honored his late friend Oscar Taveras, who was killed in the car accident in the Dominican Republic that October.
In parts of four MLB seasons, Ventura went 38-31 with a 3.89 ERA (107 ERA+) in 547 2/3 innings. The team signed him to a five-year extension worth $23 million in December 2015.
Commissioner Rob Manfred released a statement regarding Ventura's passing:
"Today is a very sad day for our entire game and particularly for the many loyal fans in the Dominican Republic, the home of both Yordano Ventura and Andy Marte.
"Yordano was a key figure in the Royals' recent success. His electric talent on the mound helped lead the Royals to two American League pennants and the 2015 World Championship. Andy was a respected member of six organizations who played seven Major League seasons, including for the Cleveland Indians from 2006-2010.
"On behalf of Major League Baseball, I extend my deepest condolences to the families, teammates, friends and fans of both players."
The first details about Ventura's funeral have been reported. He'll be put to rest on Tuesday:
Yordano Ventura will be buried on Tuesday. Dayton Moore, Ned Yost, and many others from the Royals will be there. So incredibly sad.— Sam Mellinger (@mellinger) January 22, 2017
Royals general manager Dayton Moore and manager Ned Yost are among those expected to attend