Cardinals OF Oscar Taveras killed in car accident in the Dominican Republic
JUPITER, FL - FEBRUARY 24: Oscar Taveras #77 of the St. Louis Cardinals poses for a portrait during photo day at Roger Dean Stadium on February 24, 2014 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) By Rob Carr
ST. LOUIS, Mo.(BaseballStL) — The Cardinals received shocking news Sunday evening, learning Oscar Taveras was killed in a car crash 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 in a team release. “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 General Manager John Mozeliak. “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.”
According to a police statement, Taveras was driving a red Chevrolet Camero. There was heavy rain and he reportedly lost control of the car along a coastal road around 7:40 PM EST. His girlfriend, 18-year-old Edilia Arvelo was also killed in the crash.
Taveras was scheduled to play winter ball in the Dominican Republic before returning to Jupiter, Florida for spring training where he was expected to compete for the starting spot in right field.
The Cardinals had expected Taveras to work on his defense and conditioning in the offseason, rounding out his game.
“I think he can be a star, and I think he showed some things all season long that proved that,” Mike Matheny said in a season wrap-up press conference on October 20.
Considered one of the top prospects in baseball, the left-handed outfielder had recently flashed his star potential when he tied Game 2 of the NLCS with a pinch-hit homer.