Twins Minor Leaguer Yorman Landa was killed in a car accident in his home country, the team announced Saturday morning. The 22-year-old native of Santa Teresa, Venezuela, near Caracas, died in the area.
He'd originally signed with the Twins at the age of 16 and had been non-tendered to clear a 40-man roster spot ahead of Thursday's Rule 5 Draft. After electing free agency, he reportedly agreed to a new Minor League deal with the organization.
"The Minnesota Twins are deeply saddened by the heartbreaking loss of Yorman Landa early this morning in Venezuela," Twins chief baseball officer Derek Falvey said in a statement. "On behalf of the entire baseball community, we send our sincerest condolences to the Landa family as well as Yorman's many friends, coaches and teammates."
MLB.com reported that Landa's agent, Daniel Szew, relayed that Landa was riding in the passenger seat of a car driven by his father when a tree fell in a storm and struck Landa in the head. Szew said Landa was the only one of four or five people in the car to suffer an injury, and it took a long time for an ambulance to arrive.
"I am devastated by the tragic news of Yorman Landa's passing. He was not only an amazing pitcher with a very promising future but one of the most humble and sincere players I had the honor to represent," a statement from Szew read. "He was one of my first clients and like a little brother to me. My thoughts and condolences go out to his family, friends and fans. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers today. Be in peace mi hermanito!"
The right-hander was 14-13 with eight saves and a 2.66 ERA over 100 appearances -- 23 starts -- since his pro debut in 2010. He was a midseason Midwest League All-Star in 2014, when he posted a 2.88 ERA across 13 games.
This year, Landa was 2-2 with seven saves and a 3.24 ERA in 31 relief appearances for Class A Advanced Fort Myers. At the Florida State League All-Star Game, his fastball was clocked at 102 mph. He went unscored upon in eight of 10 appearances after the break, but shoulder issues kept him out of action from July 24 through the end of the season.
Josh Jackson is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow and interact with him on Twitter, @JoshJacksonMiLB.