St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Oscar Taveras has died in a car crash in his hometown of Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic tonight, according to multiple reports, which were confirmed by his agent. His car veered off the road. Taveras' girlfriend has also passed away in the accident. He was 22-years-old.
"Obviously, we have deep condolences to his family. We are still waiting for more details before issuing a full statement," Cardinals GM John Mozeliak told Jennifer Langosch of MLB.com.
Taveras was baseball's third-best prospect prior to the 2014 season and broke into the big leagues midway through this season. He was able to play in 80 games with the Cardinals and his future was regarded to be so bright. Over 248 plate appearances this season, he hit .239/.278/.312 with three homers and 22 runs batted in.
Many thought that Taveras would have an excellent career. He was just 22-years-old and definitely had the best of his career in front of him. He signed with the Cardinals in 2008 and has slowly developed into a player many thought would eventually turn into a superstar. Some compared him to Vladimir Guerrero due to his skill of effectively hitting pitches outside the strike zone.
One of the most touching things is that Taveras ended his baseball career on a high note. In Game 2 of the National League Championship Series against the Giants, Taveras lifted a dramatic pinch-hit home run in the seventh inning to tie up the game. The Cardinals would eventually win on Kolten Wong's walk-off homer in the ninth.
I send my condolences to Taveras' family and friends on their loss in a very sad day across baseball.