Minnesota Twins prospect found dead at 23 in New Zealand hotel room

Ryan Costello, who was in New Zealand to play winter ball, was found dead in his hotel room, apparently of natural causes, team officials said.

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/ Source: TODAY
By Scott Stump

Minnesota Twins minor league prospect Ryan Costello was found dead at 23 on Monday morning in a hotel room in New Zealand, where he was set to play winter baseball for a team in Auckland.

The Twins tweeted their condolences on Monday after learning about Costello, a Connecticut native who was a third baseman in their minor league system.

"We are saddened to learn of the untimely passing of Ryan Costello. The entire Twins organization sends our most sincere condolences to Ryan's family, friends, coaches, and teammates," the tweet read.

Costello was in New Zealand to play for the Auckland Tuatara of the Australian Baseball League, whose season begins this week.

Tuatara team officials said in a statement that Costello died in his sleep on Monday morning, with preliminary indications suggesting it was from natural causes.

"The Tuatara would like to express their deepest condolences to Ryan’s family back home in the United States and to the whole Minnesota Twins organisation," the statement read. "Support is being offered to the Tuatara players, who are naturally devastated at the moment."

Costello grew up in Wethersfield, Connecticut, and played collegiately at Central Connecticut State. He was drafted by the Seattle Mariners in the 31st round in 2017 and was a Midwest League All-Star in the minor leagues a year later.

He was traded to the Twins last year and started this season in high Class A Fort Myers before being promoted to Minnesota's Double-A team in Pensacola, Florida. He hit .223 with 15 home runs and 46 RBIs in 108 games between the two teams.