Oscar Taveras, the 22-year-old St. Louis Cardinals outfielder considered one of the top Major League young players, was killed in a car accident Sunday in his native Dominican Republic.
Taveras was driving a 2014 Chevrolet Camaro at the time of the crash on a highway between the beaches of Sosua and Cabarete in Puerto Plata, about 130 miles north of the capital of Santo Domingo, said Col. Diego Pesqueira of the Metropolitan Transportation Agency.
“He wasn’t carrying documents at the time of the accident, but his body was identified by family members,” Pesqueira said.
National police spokesman Jacobo Mateo Moquete said he was told by the mayor of Sosua that Taveras lost control of his vehicle and went off the road. Taveras’ girlfriend, Edilia Arvelo, 18, who was in the car with him, also died in the accident.
Taveras made his Major League debut this year. He hit .239 with three homers and 22 RBIs in 80 games for the NL Central champions.
“I simply can’t believe it,” Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak said in a release. “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.”
Cardinals chairman Bill DeWitt Jr. said the organization was “stunned and deeply saddened” by Taveras’ death.
“Oscar was an amazing talent with a bright future who was taken from us well before his time,” DeWitt said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends tonight.”