Yordano Ventura of the Kansas City Royals was killed in a car accident in the Dominican Republic on Sunday morning, according to police.
— Cristian Moreno|ESPN (@CristianMorenoD) January 22, 2017
Indians prospect Andy Marte was also reportedly killed in an unrelated car accident in the Dominican Republic.
Black sunday for Dominican Republic baseball: Yordano Ventura and Andy Marte died in In different car accidents #RIP
— Enrique Rojas/ESPN (@Enrique_Rojas1) January 22, 2017
Ventura, 25, is now the third Major League Baseball player to be tragically killed in a vehicular accident in his 20s since 2014, along with Oscar Taveras and Jose Fernandez. Ventura was among the leaders of the efforts to pay tribute to both Taveras and Fernandez after their deaths in 2014 and 2016.
He dedicated his 2014 World Series Game 6 start to Taveras, wearing Taveras’ initials and numbers on his glove, cleats and cap. In that game, Ventura pitched seven shutout innings, allowing only three hits in a 10-0 Royals win over the Giants. Although the Royal would lose that Series in seven games, he was once again a supernova for them in the 2015 postseason, as he helped the Royals to their first World Series win since 1985.
Taveras also paid tribute to Fernandez and Taveras by putting both of their initials on his cap in 2016 after Fernandez was killed in a boating accident.
Ventura was set to enter his fourth full season with the Royals as a starter since being a late call-up in 2013. Ventura had 93 starts with the Royals, going 38-31 with a 3.89 ERA, 1.34 WHIP and 470 strikeouts.
Marte, 33, was most recently with the Indians organization, where he spent five seasons of his seven in Major League Baseball. Marte, who most recently played in the majors with the Diamondbacks in 2014, was a career .218 hitter with 21 home runs and 99 RBIs.