WELLINGTON, New Zealand — Minnesota Twins prospect Ryan Costello has been found dead in his Auckland hotel room days after joining the Auckland Tuatara in the Australian Baseball League.
The 23-year-old third baseman died in his sleep, apparently of natural causes, on Monday morning, team officials said.
“The Tuatara express their deepest condolences to Ryan’s family back home in the United States and to the whole Minnesota Twins organization,” the club said in the statement.
The statement said Costello’s teammates were “naturally devastated” by the news. Concerns were raised when Costello failed to report for training Monday morning, days ahead of the Tuatara’s opening game of the 2019-2020 ABL season.
The Twins also said in a statement they are “deeply saddened” by Costello’s death.
Costello was traded to Minnesota last year as part of a deal that sent Zach Duke to the Seattle Mariners.
Born in Hartford, Connecticut, he played in the minor leagues for the Clinton Lumberjacks and later for the Fort Myers Miracle during their 2018 championship run.
In an interview with Twins Daily in October, 2018, Costello said his greatest strength is “my…