Former Colorado Rockies farmhand Chandler Laurent passed away on Wednesday night as the result of injuries sustained in a car accident, according to Robert Rhoden of the New Orleans Times-Picayune. Laurent was 26.
Laurent, the Rockies' 21st-round pick in the 2009 draft, reportedly collided with the back of an 18-wheeler while driving on Interstate 12 just south of Covington, La., per the report. The Slidell, La. native was pronounced dead at the scene.
In four seasons in the Rockies organization, Laurent hit .257/.321/.448 in more than 1,000 plate appearances. Laurent's best season as a professional came in 2011, when he hit .284/.356/.521 with 15 home runs in 80 games for Low-A Asheville.
Laurent was released from the Rockies organization on July 5, 2012, after he struggled through 48 games for High-A Modesto. He briefly caught on with Sioux Falls of the Independent American Association last season but did not play professionally in 2014.
The Rockies on Thursday released a statement on Laurent's passing via their official Twitter account:
We're saddened by the death of former #Rockies Minor Leaguer Chandler Laurent. Our deepest condolences go out to his family & friends— Colorado Rockies (@Rockies) October 10, 2014
Brian VanderBeek of the Modesto Bee spoke with Laurent about his experience with Hurricane Katrina shortly after the infielder made a two-level jump to the Nuts in 2010:
"We live on a pretty big hill, so our place didn't get any water damage. A tree happened to fall on my bedroom and that was the only damage we got to the house. We have a pretty good bit of land and it took two days to get all of the trees picked up and cleared out, but we were without electricity for two months. We had two generators and filled all our gas cans before we left."
"The whole thing brought us close together, because the whole family moved into the living room, with the generator powering a window air conditioning unit. The good thing is that we were able to help a lot of other people who had a lot of water and mud damage, people who lived right on the water."
While Laurent was with Short-Season A Tri-City earlier that season, local NBC affiliate KNDO 23 ran a story about his on-field intensity:
"You want to set yourself up to be successful," Laurent said. "We're coming in everyday at the ballpark. We're confident. That's the one thing I've learned. You can be physically tired but if you can stay mentally strong throughout the course of the season, you will be better off. If your mind says no, your body will say no."
But, this perfectionist still has trouble when his bat loses its mojo. At times, his teammates call him the 'Loose Cannon.'
"What you got to do is you just got to forget about it, just as quickly as you possibly can," he said. "You're gonna get another at-bat. You're going to be playing tomorrow."