BOSTON -- Franklin Morales made an impression on Martin Prado the first time the lefty pitched against the outfielder in Winter Ball more than five years ago in their native Venezuela.
I always knew since I faced him that he had potential to be a great pitcher in baseball, Prado said.
Over the next few years, Prado faced Morales when his team, the Atlanta Braves, played the Colorado Rockies, Morales club for more than four seasons.
Morales was traded from the Rockies to the Red Sox in May of 2011. After being a reliever for the majority of his career, he was moved to Bostons starting rotation this month.
On Saturday, Morales (1-1, 3.12 ERA) made his second start of the 2012 season. He threw six innings, striking out eight with seven hits, two earned runs, and one walkin the Red Sox 8-4 victory over the Braves. Prado drew a walk, grounded into a double play, and flied out against Morales.
Hes got electric stuff, Prado said before the game. His motion, he makes his presence on the mound known. When its on, you can see he has electric stuff. His fastball is fast. He has an electric curveball. I knew he had the stuff. Im just hoping he can be consistent and I know he can be a great pitcher.
When asked which other Major League pitcher reminds him of Morales, Prado paused.
Nobody comes to mind right now, but that means hes different, Prado said. He can be one of a kind.
Former major leaguer Andy Marte, a one-time top prospect in the Red Sox organization, was killed in a car crash in the Dominican Republic on Sunday. He was 33.
Marte was killed the same day that Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura died in a separate car crash in the Dominican. Ventura was 25. Coincidentally, Ventura was the Royals starting pitcher in Marte's final major league game, for the Arizona Diamondbacks on Aug. 6, 2014.
Marte, drafted by the Braves in 2000, was ranked the No. 9 prospect in baseball in 2005 when the third baseman was traded to the Red Sox as part of the deal that sent shortstop Edgar Renteria to Atlanta and Marte became the top-ranked prospect in the Red Sox organization.
Marte was traded by the Red Sox to the Indians in 2006 in the deal that sent Coco Crisp to Boston and spent five seasons with Cleveland. His best season was 2009 (.232, six home runs, 25 RBI in 47 games). After a six-game stint with Arizona in 2014, he played in South Korea the past two years.
Metropolitan traffic authorities in the Dominican told the Associated Press that Marte died when a car he was driving his a house along the highway between San Francisco de Macoris and Pimentel, about 95 miles (150 kilometers) north of the capital.
Kansas City Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura was killed in a car crash in in the Dominican Republic on Sunday morning, according to multiple reports. Ventura was 25 years old.
Highway patrol spokesman Jacobo Mateo told the Associated Press that Ventura died on a highway leading to the town of Juan Adrian, about 40 miles (70 kilometers) northwest of Santo Domingo. He says it's not clear if Ventura was driving.
Ventura was killed the same day former major leaguer Andy Marte died in a separate car crash in the Dominican. Coincidentally, Ventura was the starting pitcher in Marte's final MLB game, for the Arizona Diamondbacks on Aug. 6, 2014.
Ventura was 13-8 with a 4.08 ERA for the Royals' 2015 World Series champions and 11-12 with a 4.45 ERA in 32 starts in 2016. The right-hander made his major league debut in 2013 and in 2014 went 14-10 with a 3.20 ERA for Kansas City's A.L. pennant winners.
Ironically, Ventura paid tribute to his good friend and fellow Dominican, Oscar Tavares, who was also killed in a car crash in the D.R. in October 2014, by wearing Tavares' initials and R.I.P. on his cap before Ventura's start in Game 6 of the World Series in 2014.
Ventura is the second current major league player to die in the past five months. Former Miami Marlins ace Jose Fernandez was killed in a boating accident in Miami on Sept. 25.