Rays bullpen catcher Jean Ramirez died by suicide

The death of Puerto Rican Jean Ramírez, who was a bullpen catcher with the Tampa Bay Rays, was officially classified as a suicide, the Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office in Texas reported Thursday.

Ramirez, 28, was found dead Monday in a field by a creek bed near his family’s home in Fort Worth, according to authorities.

The Rays reported the death on Tuesday, but without giving details. On Thursday, the team released a statement on behalf of Ramirez’s family.

“The loss of our son has been the most painful experience we have ever had. Unfortunately, sometimes we don’t see the signs. Fighting in silence is not okay,” the statement said.

“It is our commitment to honor our son’s life by helping other families. No parent should have to bear the loss of their child. We are so grateful to the Tampa Bay Rays organization, whom we consider family, for their love and support. Our son felt loved by all of you.”

“Jean played in our organization and most recently was the big team bullpen catcher. He was a loving teammate and friend,” said Erik Neander, president of baseball operations for the Central Florida franchise.

“As we face this unexpected and difficult loss, we are grateful for the time we shared with Jean,” Neander added.

“He brought so much passion and energy every day to our clubhouse and bullpen and his love for the Rays and baseball was evident to everyone who interacted with him,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said.

Ramírez was drafted by Tampa Bay in the 2016 draft and appeared in 65 games over three minor league seasons. In his last season, in 2018, he played 19 games with the Tampa Bay branch in the rookie league.

“He had a big heart and a contagious smile,” Cash said.

“We extend our deep condolences to his family and friends. Jean will be missed,” added the pilot.