Astros Minor Leaguer Rosario dies in motorcycle accident

HOUSTON -- Jose Rosario, a right-handed pitcher in the Astros' Minor League system, was killed in a motorcycle accident in the Dominican Republic on Sunday, the team Monday said in a statement.

Rosario, 20, was signed by the Astros as an 18-year-old Minor League free agent in December 2013. He split the '15 season between the Dominican Summer League and the Gulf Coast League, going 4-6 with a 4.40 ERA in 18 games (eight starts).

"It is with a heavy heart that we inform the Astros community of the passing of Minor League pitcher Jose Rosario, who died last night in his native Dominican Republic," Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow said in a statement. "Our thoughts go out to Jose's family, friends and many teammates."

In the statement, Astros director of international Oz Ocampo said Rosario "was a beloved member of the Astros' Latin American program.

"He will be remembered as a long, lanky-framed pitcher with tremendous ability, an outgoing personality and an ever-positive disposition," Ocampo said. "He was a true student of the game and was constantly looking to learn and improve his abilities. He was also a supportive teammate, as he made it a point to encourage his fellow Astros and deliver that message with a smile on his face. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Rosario family."

Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.