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St. Louis Cardinals OF Oscar Taveras killed in auto accident

Terrible, terrible news.

Multiple reports indicate top St. Louis Cardinals prospect Oscar Taveras was killed Sunday in a car accident.

Taveras, 22, was in the Domincan Republic with his girlfriend who was also reported to have died as a result of injuries suffered in the crash. The Cardinals and mlb.com have confirmed the tragic loss.

Click here to see Taveras hit a game-tying home run in Game 2 of the National League Championship Series.

Few details are available at this time. But USA Today quoted police as saying it was raining heavily at the time of the crash and that weather may have been a factor.

This is devastating news any way you look at it.

How awful for a 22 year old kid with the world at his fingertips to lose his life. It's also a devastating blow to the Cardinals organization who lost a key piece of their future, one way or another.

The lefty swinger hit .239 in 248 plate appearances in 2014 after making his long-anticipated arrival in St. Louis and was expected to battle fellow prospect Randal Grichuk for the starting job in right field for the Cardinals in 2015. He hit .320 in parts of six seasons in the minor leagues.

While Taveras showed he still had much growing to do, few had dimmed their projections that he was eventually going to be an impact player at baseball's highest level. I eagerly anticipated the young slugger to grow into a Vladimir Guerrero type of high average hitter with 20-25 homer power.

The Redbirds built their future around Taveras, turning down a number of trade opportunities over the past two years for a player who consistently rated in the top three hitting prospects in baseball. As raw as Taveras' talent proved to be, it's going to be extremely difficult to replace.

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