Rays bullpen catcher Jean Ramirez dies at 28

Rays

This is a 2021 photo of Jean Ramirez of the Tampa Bay Rays baseball team. This image reflects the Tampa Bay Rays active roster as of Monday, Feb. 22, 2021 when this image was taken. (Mary DeCicco/MLB Photos via AP)

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — The Tampa Bay Rays are mourning the sudden loss of a member of their team.

Bullpen catcher Jean Ramirez died on Monday, the team announced. He was just 28 years old.

The team did not provide any additional information on Ramirez’ death but called it an “unexpected and difficult loss.”

“We extend our deepest sympathy and condolences to Jean’s family,” Baseball Operations President Erik Neander said in a statement. “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.”

According to MLB.com, Ramirez spent three seasons in Tampa Bay’s minor league system after the Rays drafted him in the 28th round in 2016. Neander said he was most recently a bullpen catcher for the major league team.

“Jean was an incredible teammate and friend. 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,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said. “He had the biggest heart and most infectious smile… Jean will be deeply missed.”

Ramirez’ MiLB profile said the 28-year-old was born in Puerto Rico and went to college at Illinois State.

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