Former Asheville Tourist pitcher Paul Bargas, who appeared in 58 games with the Tourists during the 2010 season, has died after battling a rare form of brain cancer for more than a year. He was 23.
Drafted by the Colorado Rockies in the 12th round in 2009 out of UC Riverside, Bargas spent the 2010 season with the Tourists, posting a 5-4 record with a 3.59 ERA. He had five saves in 58 relief appearances.
The following winter, Bargas was traded to the Minnesota Twins in exchange for catcher Jose Morales.
Shortly after the December 2010 trade, Bargas began to experience severe headaches. He tried to work through his discomfort during spring training prior to seeking additional medical assistance.
In April of last year, he was diagnosed with brain cancer and underwent treatment at the UCLA Medical Center. Bargas missed the entire 2011 season before attempting to make a comeback with the Twins this past spring when he experienced more setbacks.
“This is a sad and difficult day for everyone whose life was touched by Paul,” said Tourists general manager Larry Hawkins. “He was a very good pitcher and an even better young man. The Tourists offer our condolences to Paul’s family and friends and want them to know they are in our prayers.”
“The team will follow the lead of the family for memorials and such. We are going to have a moment of silence at our next home game on July 4th. Tragic, just tragic,” said Tourists president Brian DeWine.