Tampa Bay Rays’ Jean Ramirez dies at 28

The Tampa Bay Rays announced that bullpen catcher Jean Ramirez died Monday.

Ramirez died by suicide, the Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s office announced Thursday.

In a family statement posted on the team’s website, the family said: “The loss of our son has been the most excruciating experience we have lived. Unfortunately, we sometimes don’t see the signs. Struggling in silence is not OK. It is our commitment to honor our son’s life by helping other families. No parent should have to endure the loss of their child.”

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Ramirez, 28, a native of Puerto Rico, was a 28th-round pick for the Rays in 2016, and spent three seasons in the team’s minor leagues, playing catcher, first base, and outfield, ESPN reported.

The Tampa Bay Rays posted a tribute to Ramirez on social media saying, “The Rays baseball family mourns the loss of bullpen catcher Jean Ramirez.”

MLB.com shared a statement from Rays president Erik Neander: “He was a caring teammate and friend. He exuded so much joy in all he did, and his kind heart was truly a gift to all. As we process this unexpected and difficult loss, we are grateful for the times we shared with Jean.”

The team didn’t release any details of Ramirez’s death.

In a statement to The Washington Post, Rays manager Kevin Cash said, “He brought so much passion and energy each day to our clubhouse and bullpen, and his love for the Rays and baseball was evident to all who interacted with him.”

Colin Poche, who plays for the Rays and also was a former college teammate of Ramirez, posted on Twitter: “RIP to Jean and prayers with his family. From being teammates at Arkansas and again with the Rays, I can’t say enough good words about Jean and the kindness he showed to other people. He was such a great friend and his presence will truly be missed.”

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