Twins prospect Ryan Costello dies at 23 in New Zealand

Fort Myers Miracle minor league baseball player Ryan Costello. The Minnesota Twins prospect was found dead in his New Zealand hotel room Monday. (William Parmeter via AP)

WELLINGTON, New Zealand — Minnesota Twins prospect Ryan Costello was found dead in his New Zealand hotel room Monday, days after joining his team in the Australian Baseball League.

The 23-year-old third baseman died in his sleep, the Auckland Tuatara said. No cause was given.

Concerns were raised when Costello failed to report for practice Monday, days ahead of Tuatara’s opener of the 2019-20 season.

Costello was traded to Minnesota last year as part of a deal that sent Zach Duke to the Seattle Mariners.

Tuatara expressed its "deepest condolences" to Costello’s family and to the Twins organization. The team added that Costello’s teammates were "naturally devastated." In their statement, the Twins extended "most sincere condolences" to Costello’s family, friends, coaches and teammates.

Born in Hartford, Connecticut, Costello played minor league baseball for the Clinton Lumberjacks and later for the Fort Myers Miracle during their 2018 championship run.

In an interview with Twins Daily, an outlet dedicated to team news, Costello said in October 2018 that his greatest strength is "my ability to stay positive through tough times and understand that it’s part of the game and ups and downs are going to come."

He spoke of his desire to spend time with family after his first professional season in 2019.

"My dad has a bass boat and has had it since I was a kid," Costello said. "The first thing we do when I go home is go fishing.

"I’ve been home for seven days, I’ve been out fishing about four of those days. I live about five minutes from a river, the Connecticut River, so we go fishing on the river a lot."

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