By Jay Strubberg
SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic —
Sad news out of professional baseball. St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Oscar Taveras and his girlfriend have died in a car accident in the Dominican Republic, his home country. Taveras was 22.
Details are still scarce, but USA Today reports that Dominican officials say Taveras and his girlfriend were involved in a crash while traveling to his hometown near Puerto Plata. A policeman said, "[Rainfall] might have contributed to the accident."
Taveras had been widely touted as one of the top hitting prospects in the Cardinals organization.
He batted just .239 in his first season in the big leagues but left his mark in the playoffs with a big pinch-hit home run in the National League Championship series in Game 2 against the Giants.
Before his time at the professional level, Taveras had dominated the minor-league ranks with a .320 batting average over six seasons and was expected to have a bright future with the Cardinals.
Baseball America ranked Taveras the third-highest prospect in all of baseball in 2014.
St. Louis Cardinals chairman Bill DeWitt Jr. released a statement on Facebook expressing grief for Taveras' passing. Cardinals GM John Mozeliak said Taveras was a "wonderful young man who was a gifted athlete with an infectious love for life who lived every day to the fullest."
This video includes images from Getty Images.
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