Seattle Mariners pitching prospect Victor Sanchez has died in Venezuela from injuries sustained in a boating accident in his home country in February, the team announced. He was 20.
"The Seattle Mariners are saddened to learn of the passing of Victor Sanchez," Mariners executive vice president and general manager Jack Zduriencik said in a statement. "Victor was a tremendous young man and a wonderful teammate. He was a very talented player who was close to fulfilling his promise as a major leaguer. He will be missed by his teammates and the coaches and staff at the Mariners.
"The entire Mariners organization sends our deepest condolences to his family during this difficult time."
Sanchez was swimming on Feb. 14 when he was struck in the head by the propeller of a motorboat at a beach in the Venezuelan coastal town of Campano. He reportedly had suffered a double skull fracture and brain hematoma.
Sanchez was 7-6 with a 4.19 ERA last season at Double-A Jackson. He signed with the Mariners as a 16-year-old international free agent in 2011 and at age 18 threw a nine-inning no-hitter for Class A Clinton. MLB.com ranked him as the Mariners' 11th-best prospect last year.
He had been scheduled to join the team in Arizona for its minor league minicamp.
"It's pretty devastating to a lot of us," Mariners minor league catcher Tyler Marlette said after Sanchez's accident, according to MLB.com. "He's a big dude -- we'd always call him Shrek -- with a lot of humor. He's always pleasant, always positive with everybody. Just a fun-loving guy and he'd be the first one to buy you food or do anything for you. It's a shame that it happened to him. It just reminds you how important life is and that it's not just about baseball."
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.