Tragedy struck the baseball world Sunday night, with the news that St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Oscar Taveras, age 22, had been killed in an automobile accident in the Dominican Republic. Although exact details regarding the accident have yet to be released, multiple media sources report that Taveras and his girlfriend Edilia Arvelo, age 18, perished in the wreck.
Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak was quoted by MLB and Cardinals beat writer Jenifer Langosh, "Obviously, we have deep condolences to his family."
The Cardinals later released the following statement:
The St. Louis Cardinals offer condolences to the family of Oscar Taveras, the 22 year old Cardinals Outfielder, who was killed earlier today in an automobile accident in the Dominican Republic.
"We are all stunned and deeply saddened by the tragic loss of one of the youngest members of the Cardinals family," Cardinals Chairman Bill DeWitt Jr. said. "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."
"I simply can't believe it," said John Mozeliak, Sr. VP & GM of the St. Louis Cardinals. "I first met Oscar when he was sixteen 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."
The team will provide additional information on funeral arrangements at a later time.
Widely regarded as one of the most promising young players in Major League Baseball, Taveras was signed by the Cardinals as a free agent from the Dominican Republic in 2010. He hit .330/.382/.536 in 371 minor league games covering parts of five seasons.
Taveras was ranked as the number three prospect in baseball entering 2014 by Baseball America, Baseball Prospectus, and MLB.com, and number four by MinorLeagueBall.com.
After hitting .322 in 53 games for Johnson City in the Appalachian League in 2010, he won the batting title in the 2011 Midwest League by hitting .386 for Quad Cities. This was the highest batting average in Low-A baseball since Deacon Jones hit .409 in 1956. Taveras was then named Texas League MVP in 2012 after hitting .321/.380/.572 with 23 home runs for Springfield.
The young outfielder made his big league debut in 2014 and hit .239/.279/.312 in 234 at-bats. Taveras went 3-for-7 with a home run in the post-season for the Cardinals this fall, the home run tying Game Two of the NLCS against the San Francisco Giants.
The entire Minor League Ball staff and community expresses our deepest condolences to Oscar's friends and family, the friends and family of Edilia Arvelo, his teammates and the Cardinals organization as a whole.