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The Australian Baseball League announced on Monday morning that Minnesota Twins prospect Ryan Costello was found dead in his New Zealand hotel room over the weekend. He was 23.
According to the ABL, “preliminary indications” suggest that Costello died of natural causes.
Costello had been in New Zealand for just a week before he died. He was there to play for the Auckland Tuatara, the only New Zealand team in the ABL. Costello’s death was discovered after he failed to show up for practice on Monday morning.
“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 organization,” the team said in a statement. “Support is being offered to the Tuatara players, who are naturally devastated at the moment.”
Costello, a Weathersfield, Conn. native, was picked by the Seattle Mariners in the 31st round of the 2017 draft. He played third base, first base and outfield positions, and was a Midwest League All-Star in 2018. Not long after that All-Star appearance, Costello and pitcher Chase De Jong were traded to the Twins in exchange for pitcher Zach Duke. Later that season, Costello hit a three-run home run that helped his team, the Fort Myers Miracle, win the 2018 Florida State League Championship.
In 2019 Costello began the season with Single-A Fort Myers before earning a promotion to the Double-A Pensacola Blue Wahoos. Over three seasons and 280 games in the minors, Costello hit .256/.361/.468 with 43 home runs and 54 doubles.
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