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The world of baseball has lost one of its most promising players.

St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Oscar Taveras was killed in a car accident in his native Dominican Republic this weekend. Officials say Taveras was in the car with his girlfriend when the vehicle veered off the side of the road near his hometown of Puerto Plata. His girlfriend also died in the accident.

The Cardinals expressed their deepest condolences to the 22-year-old player’s family.

“I simply can’t believe it,” general manager John Mozeliak said in a club statement. “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.”

Mozeliak and manager Mike Matheny discussed a week ago how they expected Taveras to arrive at spring training in February and compete for the starting job in right field. Matheny said he expected Taveras to “be a star.”

Taveras made his major league debut when he was just teenager and showed great potential, earning accolades such as league MVP, Class A batting champ, and more.

Commissioner Bud Selig also released a statement following the player’s untimely death:

“All of us throughout Major League Baseball are in mourning … shocked by the heartbreaking news of the accident involving Cardinals outfielder Oscar Taveras and his girlfriend,” commissioner Bud Selig said from the World Series. “Oscar, a young member of the baseball family, was full of promise and at the dawn of a wonderful career in our game, evident in his game-tying home run against the Giants exactly two weeks ago. I extend my deepest condolences to the families and friends of both individuals, as well as to Oscar’s teammates and the entire Cardinals organization.”

Taveras was also remembered by his teammates on Twitter.

Police are still investigating the deaths, but explained that heavy rainfall could have been the reason behind the accident.

“We’re still investigating at the scene,” Lopez Reyes, a lieutenant junior with the Puerto Plata police, told USA Today. “We’ve had some heavy rainfall here lately. It might have contributed to the accident.”

Our condolences to Taveras’ and his girlfriend’s families.

SOURCE: St. Louis Dispatch | VIDEO CREDIT: News Inc. 

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