D-backs rally to help Fuentes, Puerto Rico

Kendrick sends private jet to bring outfielder's family to Arizona

D-backs rally to help Fuentes, Puerto Rico

KANSAS CITY -- In the aftermath of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, D-backs outfielder Rey Fuentes had trouble reaching his family, who still lived on the island where he grew up.

Days went by and Fuentes had no idea whether his mother, father and sister were safe.

"I would have stress and anxiety," Fuentes said. "When I was at home, I was basically a mess because I didn't know what was happening and I'm out here all by myself, and my family is all that I've got so it was pretty tough. As soon as I came to the clubhouse the team supported me. They were talking to me, giving me hugs, telling me that everything was going to be OK. So I really appreciate the whole organization for being there for me."

Finally, Fuentes heard from his father. He had driven nearly 40 minutes from their home to find cell service so he could let his son know that they were OK.

"So I was relieved a little, but he told me how the situations is -- they're looting, no electricity, no water, everybody is panicking," Fuentes said. "It's basically survival mode right now. After that, he kept going to that spot and we could talk a little, and he was giving me updates. I told him I was going to do everything I could to bring him out here. I could hear in his voice that he was pretty scared for my family because it's not about the water or the food, it's just about people trying to loot him and him getting hurt or my family getting hurt. That was the most terrifying thing for me."

The D-backs front office told Fuentes to let them know if he needed anything, and when managing general partner Ken Kendrick found out about the situation, he sprang into action.

Kendrick sent his private jet to Puerto Rico on Friday to pick up Fuentes' father, mother and sister and bring them to Arizona.

D-backs assistant GM Jared Porter gave Fuentes the news and worked with him to set up safe passage.

"All I thought was that my family was going to be OK," Fuentes said. "Obviously, I felt a lot of emotions in my head and my body. I got chills because I knew they were going to be OK. Mr. Kendrick just doing that from the bottom of his heart was truly amazing to me. It's just a blessing and I'm really, really grateful for it."

Even before he knew that his family would be OK, Fuentes had begun working towards helping those suffering in Puerto Rico. He and his friend Jan Ayuso worked to fill a trailer with supplies like water, first aid kits and diapers, and the D-backs are working with him to get those supplies to Puerto Rico.

Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.