KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura, whose electric arm helped his team win the 2015 World Series title, was killed in a car crash in his native Dominican Republic last night, the team confirmed Sunday morning.
"Our prayers right now are with Yordano's family as we mourn this young man's passing," Royals GM Dayton Moore said in a team press release. "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 as an organization, but right now is a time to mourn and celebrate the life of Yordano."
With the fitting nickname of "Ace," Ventura burst onto the baseball scene with a 100-mph fastball and an explosive attitude to match. He was a fierce competitor who was always willing to challenge hitters inside, then deal with the ramifications when they decided to charge the mound.
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Ventura went 14-10 with a 3.20 ERA in 2014, his first full season in the big leagues, and helped the long-downtrodden Royals reach the World Series for the first time since 1985. He proceeded to dominate San Francisco in both of his starts, though the Royals would ultimately lose in seven games.
He followed by helping Kansas City win the championship the next year.
Ventura was a close friend of St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Oscar Taveras, who was killed in a car accident in October 2014.