Former Pirates minor leaguer Andy Marte died in a car crash in the Dominican Republic Sunday morning. He was 33. (Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura also died in a car crash in the Dominican this morning; that was a separate incident.)
Marte was once one of the top overall prospects in the game while he was in the Braves system. He never did make good on that promise, but he played in the big leagues briefly with Atlanta and then in parts of several seasons with Cleveland. He was also briefly rumored to be part of the Jason Bay trade talks between the Pirates and Indians back in the 2007-2008 offseason.
The Pirates signed him to a minor-league deal in December 2010, and Pirates fans briefly had some interest in the Bucs promoting him, although he batted just .202/.278/.328 for Indianapolis. He headed to independent ball and then to the Angels and Diamondbacks organizations before heading to Korea, where he thrived — he hit .312/.390/.547 over the last two seasons with the KT Wiz.
Marte was a very small part of Pirates history, but still one that many fans will remember. It’s a shame to see him go before his time.