Former Major League Baseball infielder Ryan Freel is dead at 36, of a self-inflicted gun-shot wound. First Coast News reported the suicide on Saturday afternoon; Freel's body was discovered in his home around 4 p.m. ET in Jacksonville, FL.
The Jacksonville native was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 10th round in 1995, and made his major-league debut with the Blue Jays in 2001. Freel then spent six seasons with the Cincinnati Reds, beginning in 2003, with his best season coming in 2006, when he posted a .271 batting average with eight home runs and 27 RBIs.
Freel was traded three times during his final season in 2009, his last game coming on Aug. 3 with the Kansas City Royals. Freel was been named head baseball coach at a local school last summer, but later withdrew from the position.
The Reds released the following statement:
"The Reds family is deeply saddened to hear of the death of Ryan Freel. His teammates and our fans loved him for how hard he played the game, and he loved giving back to the community. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends."