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(Reuters) - St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Oscar Taveras, considered one of baseball's brightest prospects, was killed in a car crash in the Dominican Republic on Sunday, the team said in a statement.
The 22-year-old made his debut this year and played 80 games for the Cardinals in 2014, carrying a .239 batting average and hitting three home runs.
"We are all stunned and deeply saddened by the tragic loss of one of the youngest members of the Cardinals family," team Chairman Bill DeWitt Jr. said in a statement.
"Oscar was an amazing talent with a bright future who was taken from us well before his time," he said.
Taveras' girlfriend, 18-year-old Edilia Arvelo, was also killed in the crash, which occurred near the player's home in Sosua in the northern part of the Dominican Republic, U.S. media reported, citing police in nearby Puerto Plata and local newspapers.
Taveras was reportedly heading from Jameo to Sosua. More information on the crash was not immediately available.
Cardinals General Manager John Mozeliak said: "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."
The team said it would provide more information on funeral arrangements at a later time.
Reporting by Eric M. Johnson in Seattle and Peter Cooney in Washington; Editing by Paul Simao