Boston Red Sox catching prospect Daniel Flores died Wednesday from complications while battling cancer, team president and CEO Sam Kennedy told the Boston Globe. Flores was only 17.

Flores, who grew up in Venezuela, signed with the Red Sox for $3.1 million this summer. According to Baseball America, he was the second best international free agent available at the time of his signing. MLB Pipeline rated Flores as Boston’s fifth best prospect at the end of the 2017 season, and one of baseball’s 10 best catching prospects.


Flores even drew comparisons to Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez, who has emerged as one of the game’s best power hitters through his first year plus in MLB. His future was considered to be very bright. That only adds to the shock and sadness of a life lost so young and, according to the Globe’s report, unexpectedly.

In wake of the news, Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski and senior vice president and assistant GM Eddie Romero have both released statements on the team’s behalf.

Red Sox statement on Flores:

— Alex Speier (@alexspeier) November 8, 2017

Dombrowski’s statement reads:

“Everyone at the Red Sox was shocked to hear of Daniel’s tragic passing. To see the life of young man with so much promise cut short is extremely saddening for all of us. On behalf of the Red Sox organization, I would like to extend our deepest sympathies and condolences to Daniel’s family.”

Romero, who has overseen the team’s international scouting department since 2012, added:

“Every member of our organization who got to know Daniel absolutely loved him. He was energetic, hard-working, and genuinely selfless, always with a smile on his face. He cared for his teammates and was a natural leader. I’m at a loss for words today. Daniel was an impressive young man with limitless potential, and his life was cut far too short. My condolences go out to Daniel’s mother and sister. Though with us for a short time, Daniel will always be a part of the Red Sox family.”

The Beverly Hill Sports Council, which represented Flores, also released a statement confirming the news.

BHSC statement on the passing of Boston Red Sox prospect Daniel Flores:

— BHSC (@BHSCouncil) November 9, 2017

The sad news broke just hours after WEEI in Boston reported that Flores was dealing with a “serious medical condition.” There were no concrete details at that time, though obviously no one imagined the situation taking this tragic turn.

Flores’ death comes with the baseball community still reeling from the loss of  Roy Halladay, who was  killed in a plane crash in the Gulf of Mexico on Tuesday. [/restrict]