Former Pirates infielder Jose Castillo was killed in an automobile accident in his native Venezuela late Thursday night, along with free agent infielder Luis Valbuena.
Castillo, 37, played the first four of his five major-league seasons with the Pirates from 2004-07. He split 2008 between the Giants and Astros, then finished his career by playing three professional seasons in Japan.
Carlos Rivero, who played briefly with the Red Sox in 2014, was injured.
Reports indicate that the three were being driven by Rivero’s driver at the time of the accident, which occurred in Yarucuy. The car struck a rock and went off the road.
Castillo was not married and did not have children.
The Pirates signed Castillo as a Latin American amateur free agent in 1997, and he emerged as one of the organization’s top prospects. He batted .256/.297/.380 with 33 home runs in 465 games during his four seasons in Pittsburgh, playing 388 games at second base, 41 at third base, 10 at shortstop and one in right field.
This was one particularly memorable play, at PNC Park in 2006:
— Dejan Kovacevic (@Dejan_Kovacevic) December 7, 2018
Valbuena played for the Angels the past two seasons. He also played for the Mariners, Indians, Cubs and Astros during an 11-year career that began in 2008.
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