Former Tampa Bay Rays minor league pitcher Braulio Lara passed away on Saturday morning due to a car accident in the Dominican Republic. He was 30 years old.
Early on Saturday morning, the Tampa Bay Rays family was met with terrible news. Former minor league pitcher Braulio Lara had been killed in a car accident in his native Dominican Republic, a three car accident that occurred in the early morning hours. Lara and one other driver were killed, and four people were injured in the accident.
Lara spent 11 years in the professional ranks, pitching in the Rays, Nationals, and Giants systems. He also pitched in Korea, Mexico, and the Dominican Winter Leagues. He reached the AAA level in four consecutive seasons from 2013 through 2016, but never was able to make that final step to reach the majors.
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Overall in his career, Lara posted a 41-53 record, along with a 4.75 ERA and a 1.532 WHiP. In his 729 innings, covering 366 games including 84 starts, he struck out 661 batters with 387 walks. A left hander with a four pitch mix that featured a mid 90s fastball, his potential was enough to intrigue major league franchises for years.
Ultimately, his arsenal and command were not quite enough to allow Lara to get past the upper minors. His fastball, which had originally been said to be “light’s out fast” did not have that type of velocity or movement. While he was able to get back in the lower minors, that inability to harness his stuff led to struggles in AAA, where he had a 1-9 record with a 6.42 ERA and a 1.697 WHiP in 81.1 innings.
Nonetheless, Lara had a long and well traveled career. He had even spent some time this past offseason in the Dominican Winter League, getting into two games. That dream of reaching the majors was not yet over.
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Former Tampa Bay Rays minor league Braulio Lara has passed away at 30 years old. Our thoughts go out to his family and friends.