Victor Sanchez died on Saturday, six weeks after the Seattle Mariners pitching prospect was seriously injured in a boating accident in his native Venezuela.
The 20-year-old pitcher was swimming on a beach in Carapao when he was struck by a boat propeller. He suffered a skull fracture and had a stroke, then fell into a coma.
Sanchez never woke from the coma, and on Saturday died from his injuries.
As Yahoo! Sports noted, Victor Sanchez was on the rise within the Seattle Mariners organization.
“At 6-foot and 255 pounds, Sanchez was just starting to work his way into the Mariners long term plans. He finished the 2014 season ranked as their 11th best prospect according to MLB.com, a position he cemented by posting a 4.19 ERA in 23 starts for Double-A Jackson.
“Overall, Sanchez had been steadily progressing since signing as a 16-year-old in 2011. In 2012, he posted a 6-2 with a 3.18 ERA at Class A Everett. The following season, Sanchez pitched a no-hitter for Class A Clinton in only his 27th professional start.”
Victor Sanchez was also remembered as a hard-working player who was mature well beyond his 20 years.
“He didn’t say much; he was really a quiet, reserved kid, but he was really, really smart,” Eddie Menchaca, who managed Sanchez in 2013 with Class A Clinton, told the Seattle Times. “He was advanced for his age in every aspect. Especially away from the field, in his personal life. It seems like he had a good direction. He had an idea of what he was trying to do with his life and where he wanted to go.”
On Saturday, the team expressed its condolences, with executive vice president and general manager Jack Zduriencik releasing a statement on Sanchez’s passing.
In a message shared on the team’s official Facebook page, Zduriencik noted the following.
“The Seattle Mariners are saddened to learn of the passing of Victor Sanchez. 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.”
Many players and other members of the Mariners organization also expressed their condolences after Victor Sanchez died.
We lost a teammate but lost an even better person with the passing of Victor Sanchez tonight. Your memory will live on forever in my heart
— Patrick Kivlehan (@PatrickKivlehan) March 29, 2015
On the same night that pitching prospect Victor Sanchez died, the Seattle Mariners took on the San Francisco Giants in a spring training game in Arizona, giving up four runs in the ninth inning and losing 9-8.
[Image via SB Nation]