Tampa Bay Rays bullpen catcher Jean Ramirez, whose body was found Monday near Fort Worth, Texas, died by suicide according to the Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s office, the Tampa Bay Times reported Thursday.
No cause of death was originally given for the 28-year-old Puerto Rico native, who played college baseball at Arkansas and Illinois State and spent three seasons (2016-18) in the Rays’ minor league system.
According to the report, Ramirez’s body was found in a field near a creek. Services are scheduled for Sunday.
“The loss of our son has been the most excruciating experience we have lived,” the Ramirez family said in a statement. “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.”
Tampa Bay drafted Ramirez in the 28th round in 2016. He had five homers and 19 RBIs in 66 games in the minors before becoming the Rays’ bullpen catcher in 2019.
“Jean was an incredible teammate and friend,” 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. He had the biggest heart and most infectious smile. We extend our deepest condolences to his family and friends. Jean will be deeply missed.”