The sad and disappointing news came out this morning that Sean Ratliff has retired from baseball. Ratliff missed the entire 2011 season after he was struck in the face by a foul ball during spring training and broke six bones. He courageously attempted to comeback from the injury, but in seven games for St. Lucie this season he hit .136 with 3 hits and 10 strikeouts in 22 at bats.
The injury really was a shame because heading into the 2011 season before his injury Ratliff was one of the more intriguing and promising outfield prospects in the upper levels of the Mets system, alongside guys like Kirk Nieuwenhuis and Lucas Duda. Ratliff was a 4th round pick in 2008 out of Stanford and immediately established himself as a prospect with power, hitting seven homeruns for Brooklyn that summer. He followed that up with 15 homeruns for Savannah the following year. In 2011 he split the season between St. Lucie and Binghamton and hit .298/.353/.505 with 21 homeruns and 35 doubles. That power definitely made him a prospect to keep an eye on, and while there’s no guarantee that he would have eventually made a contribution at the major league level, it’s a shame that we’ll never know.