CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Evan Chambers, a Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder prospect who played for the West Virginia Power in 2010, died over the weekend. The cause of death was not yet known, but according to Pirates General Manager Neal Huntington in a Monday night news release, he died suddenly in his sleep.
Chambers, 24, was a third-round pick of the Pirates in 2009 out of Hillsborough Community College in Tampa, Fla. He spent five seasons in the Pirates system, including one with West Virginia. In 116 games for the Power in 2010, he batted .239 with 12 home runs, 52 RBI and 35 stolen bases.
"Beyond being just a talented ballplayer, Evan was a great teammate and a quiet leader who went about his craft as a professional every day," Huntington said in the release. "Off the field, Evan loved making a difference in the community, and often dedicated a lot of his time working with children in the communities in which he played."
Before the Pirates released their statement, there was an outpouring of condolences from Chambers' teammates from both this season and past seasons.
"Can't help but question why you were taken so early," current Pirates catcher Tony Sanchez wrote on his Twitter feed. "Makes me sick. RIP Evan Chambers. Love you man."
Many of those offering their condolences mentioned his good nature and cheerfulness.
"Just in disbelief," Power shortstop Chris Diaz wrote on Twitter. "Evan Chambers was a great guy, treated everybody the same and will be missed."
Chambers was born in Miami, Fla., and graduated from Lakeland (Fla.) High School, where he was drafted by the Colorado Rockies in the 19th round. After the Pirates drafted him out of Hillsborough, he made it to Class AA Altoona in 2012, where hit batted .182 with nine RBI in 31 games. A broken foot sidelined him for almost the entire 2013 season.
A funeral will be held Saturday in Lakeland.