KANSAS CITY, MO (AP) – Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura, whose electric arm helped his team win the 2015 World Series title, was killed in a car crash in his native Dominican Republic early Sunday.
Royals vice president Mike Swanson confirmed Ventura’s death. He was 25.
A highway patrol spokesman said Ventura died about 40 miles from Santo Domingo, adding that it was not clear if Ventura was driving.
With the fitting nickname of “Ace,” Ventura burst onto the baseball scene with a 100 mph fastball and an explosive attitude to match. He was a fierce competitor who was always willing to challenge hitters inside, then deal with the ramifications when they decided to charge the mound.
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 followed by helping Kansas City win the championship the next year.
Ventura was 11-12 with a 4.45 ERA in 32 starts for the 2016 Royals at age 25. He was 38-31 with a 3.89 ERA in four major league seasons with Kansas City, helping the team win two pennants and the 2015 World Series.