SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic – St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Oscar Taveras died Sunday in a car accident in his native Dominican Republic.
The crash happened on a highway between the beaches of Sosua and Cabarete in Puerto Plata, about 215 miles north of the capital of Santo Domingo.
"I spoke to the mayor of Sosua, Ylana Newman ... and she confirmed to us that Taveras lost control of his vehicle and went off the road," police spokesman Jacobo Mateo Moquete told The Associated Press.
Angel Ovalles, the Cardinals' representative in the Caribbean country, said late Sunday that Taveras was driving the car along with a young woman. Erico Rosario, one of Taveras' representatives, also confirmed his death.
"He was killed in an accident," Rosario said, weeping.
The 22-year-old Taveras made his major league debut this year. The promising slugger hit .239 with three homers and 22 RBIs in 80 games for the NL Central champions.
"I think he can be a star," manager Mike Matheny said last Monday at his season-ending press conference. "He proved that at times. Right to the end, he was very, very much into the competition. Yes, he wanted to be the guy out there every day. You see some things offensively that absolutely excite you."
AP Sports Writer R.B. Fallstrom in St. Louis contributed to this report.