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Tampa Bay Rays bullpen catcher and former minor league player Jean Ramirez died on Tuesday at the age of 28, the team announced.
No cause of death was given.
A 28th-round draft pick out of Illinois State in 2016, Ramirez played three seasons in the Rays' minor league system before becoming the team's bullpen catcher in 2019.
"He brought so much passion and energy each day to our clubhouse and bullpen, and his love for the Rays and for 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."
The Rays baseball family mourns the loss of bullpen catcher Jean Ramirez pic.twitter.com/CSasYv7Aqm
— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) January 11, 2022
Ramirez, a native of Puerto Rico, played high school ball in Fort Worth, Texas, before going to college at Arkansas and transferring to Illinois State.
A catcher and first baseman in the minors, he hit .175 with five homers over three seasons in Rookie and Low-A ball. However, he was well-regarded as a bullpen catcher as the Rays had one of the majors' top bullpens in each of his three years with the club.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Jean Martinez, Tampa Bay Rays bullpen catcher, dies at 28