SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic — Authorities in the Dominican Republic say that Kansas City Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura and former major leaguer Andy Marte both have died in separate traffic accidents.
Highway patrol spokesman Jacobo Mateo says Ventura, 25, died on a highway leading to the town of Juan Adrian, about 40 miles (70 kilometers) northwest of Santo Domingo. He says it’s not clear if Ventura was driving.
Metropolitan traffic authorities say Marte died when a car he was driving hit a house along a road between San Francisco de Macoris and Pimentel, about 95 miles (150 kilometers) north of the capital.
Marte is a former player for the York Revolution.
In 96 games with the Revolution in 2013, Marte batted .301 with 19 home runs and 74 RBIs. He later made back to the majors in 2014 with Arizona.
In seven major league seasons, Marte hit .218 with 21 homers and 99 RBIs.
“We are deeply saddened to learn of the tragic passing of Andy Marte and Yordano Ventura,” players union executive Tony Clark said. “It’s never easy to lose a member of our fraternity, and there are no words to describe the feeling of losing two young men in the prime of their lives. Our thoughts and prayers go out to their families, friends, teammates and fans throughout the United States and Latin America.”
Ventura is the second young pitching star to die in past four months. Marlins ace Jose Fernandez was among three men killed in a boating accident in late September, when the 24-year-old pitcher’s boat crashed into a jetty off Miami Beach in the early morning hours.
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 wound up pitching his entire career for the Royals, going 38-31 with a 3.89 ERA.