Oscar Taveras, an outfielder for the St. Louis Cardinals, died in a car accident, USA Today reported. He was 22.
Taveras, who is Dominican, was killed while driving to Puerto Plata. Dominican media outlets reported that his girlfriend was also killed in the accident.
"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.
Taveras was signed by the Cardinals in 2008 as a free agent, but didn't play in a game until this season. Taveras entered the 2014 season as No. 3 on MLB.com's list of top 100 prospects. He hit a home run in his major league debut against the San Francisco Giants. He batted .239 over 80 games in the regular season and hit a game-tying homer against the Giants in Game 2 of the National League Championship series.
"We are all stunned and deeply saddened by the tragic loss of one of the youngest members of the Cardinals family. Oscar was an amazing talent with a bright future who was taken from us well before his time. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends tonight," Cardinals chairman Bill DeWitt Jr. said in a statement, via MLB.com. Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak added, "I first met Oscar when he was 16 years old and will forever remember him as a wonderful young man who was a gifted athlete with an infectious love for life who lived every day to the fullest."
MLB Commissioner Bud Selig also issued a statement.
All of us throughout Major League Baseball are in mourning this evening, shocked by the heartbreaking news of the accident involving Cardinals outfielder Oscar Taveras and his girlfriend in the Dominican Republic. Oscar, a young member of the baseball family, was full of promise and at the dawn of a wonderful career in our game, evident in his game-tying home run against the Giants exactly two weeks ago.
With heavy hearts, tonight we play Game Five of the 2014 World Series in the memory of these two young people. On behalf of Major League Baseball, I extend my deepest condolences to the families and friends of both individuals, as well as Oscar's teammates and the entire Cardinals organization.