Dustin Kellogg, the Astros' 34th-round pick in this year's Draft, was killed late Monday when the pickup truck he was driving collided with a tractor-trailer in Porter, Texas, authorities said.
In a statement released by the team, Astros general manager Ed Wade said, "We are deeply saddened by the news of Dustin's passing. Although he had only been an Astros player for a short time, we share the pain of his family. Our prayers go out to Dustin's loved ones."
Kellogg, an 18-year-old right-hander from Conroe, Texas, made his professional debut this summer in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League. In six relief appearances, he was 1-1 with a 4.26 ERA.
"We were very happy to make his dream come true when we signed him in July, after [baseball operations assistant] Mike Burns and [former scout] Rusty Pendergrass had continued to evaluate him while pitching for his summer team," Astros assistant GM/director of scouting Bobby Heck said in a statement. "He was a great kid with high energy and a lot of confidence and performed well for us after signing. This is a huge loss for everyone that knew him."
The Astros selected Kellogg out of Caney Creek High School, which is located 40 miles north of Houston.
"Dustin was a Texas kid and he made his intentions very clear at our pre-Draft workout that he wanted to pitch for his hometown Houston Astros," Heck said.
"The toughest part is just how young he is," Caney Creek baseball coach Kyle Tidwell told the Houston Chronicle. "He had his whole life in front of him doing what he wanted to do. The only thing he wanted to do was play [baseball], and that makes it tough because he had such a bright future. He was doing what he wanted to do. He was living a dream playing baseball."
According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, Kellogg was traveling south on FM 1314 when his vehicle crossed into oncoming traffic and struck an 18-wheeler at 11:40 p.m. CT.