“He was such full of life, he was just a wonderful young man and he was always very respectful,” said Royals manager Ned Yost.
Ventura was born in the town of Samana on June 3, 1991, and quit school at 14. He was working on a construction crew to support his family when he heard about a baseball tryout, which led to a spot in the local Royals' academy. The right-handed wound up pitching his entire career for the Royals, going 38-31 with a 3.89 ERA.
The mayor of Las Terrenas declared a two-day mourning period for Ventura.
Authorities have not determined what caused the accident but suspect speeding. Ventura was driving by himself in a vehicle he had imported from Florida last October after making some modifications to it.