WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — 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.
— Auckland Tuatara (@AucklandTuatara) November 18, 2019
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.
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. pic.twitter.com/TXwztkmgQA
— Minnesota Twins (@Twins) November 18, 2019
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 LumberKings and later for the Fort Myers Miracle during their 2018 championship run.
The LumberKings are shocked and deeply saddened to learn of the passing of 2018 LumberKing and Midwest League All-Star Ryan Costello. Please keep the Costello family in your thoughts in this difficult time. https://t.co/tUp7AENHMc pic.twitter.com/orQS6bxeFF
— Clinton LumberKings (@LumberKings) November 18, 2019
We were very sad to learn the news about the passing of former Miracle infielder Ryan Costello this morning. His home run helped lift the Miracle to the FSL Championship in 2018. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and the entire Twins organization. pic.twitter.com/aSIkk4sZ4C
— Fort Myers Miracle (@MiracleBaseball) November 18, 2019
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.”