Twins' minor league pitcher Landa dies in Venezuela

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) Yorman Landa, a minor league pitcher for the Minnesota Twins, has died in Venezuela.

The club did not say how the 22-year-old player died early Saturday, but local media reports and the player's agent cited a car accident.

The Twins said in a statement they are ''deeply saddened by the heartbreaking loss.''

Landa's father was driving on a rainy night, and the car either hit a fallen tree or was struck as the tree fell, agent Daniel Szew told the Pioneer Press website. There were four or five people in the car, and Landa was the only one killed.

''The ambulance took quite a while to get there,'' Szew said.

Landa had an excellent fastball and had been on the 40-man roster but was dropped after the season. The organization signed him to a minor league contract last week.

Landa pitched this season with Fort Meyers of the Class A Florida State League. He went 2-2 with seven saves and a 3.24 ERA in 41 2/3 innings. His career minor league ERA was 2.66.

''He was one of those guys that really did everything we asked of him,'' Jake Mauer, who managed Landa for two seasons (2014-15) at Class A Cedar Rapids,'' told the Pioneer Press. ''He always had a quiet confidence about himself. He would go out and get the job done. His future was pretty bright.''

Landa was signed by the Twins in 2010 as a 16-year-old from Santa Teresa, Venezuela.

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