Rays bullpen catcher Jean Ramirez dies at 28

Tampa Bay Rays bullpen catcher Jean Ramirez died Tuesday at age 28.

No cause of death was given for the Puerto Rico native, who played college baseball at Arkansas and Illinois State and spent three seasons (2016-18) in the Rays’ minor league system.

“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.”

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.

“He was a caring teammate and friend,” Rays president of baseball operations Erik Neander said. “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.”

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