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Twins Minor Leaguer Costello passes away

@dohyoungpark
November 18, 2019

MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins Minor League infielder Ryan Costello was found dead Monday morning in his hotel room in Auckland, New Zealand, according to his Australian Baseball League team. Costello was 23. "The Minnesota Twins are deeply saddened to learn of the untimely passing of Ryan Costello yesterday in New Zealand,"

MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins Minor League infielder Ryan Costello was found dead Monday morning in his hotel room in Auckland, New Zealand, according to his Australian Baseball League team. Costello was 23.

"The Minnesota Twins are deeply saddened to learn of the untimely passing of Ryan Costello yesterday in New Zealand," the Twins said in a statement. "On behalf of the entire organization, the Twins send their most sincere condolences to Ryan’s family, friends, coaches and teammates."

Costello had arrived in Auckland within the last week to play his first season for the Auckland Tuatara. Preliminary indications suggested that Costello died of natural causes, according to the statement from the Tuatara.

"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."

A native of Wethersfield, Conn., Costello had been selected in the 31st round of the 2017 Draft by the Mariners before he was traded to the Twins in July 2018 with pitcher Chase De Jong in exchange for left-hander Zach Duke and cash considerations. Costello appeared in 108 games between Class A Advanced Fort Myers and Double-A Pensacola in 2019, hitting .223/.343/.412 with 15 homers and 16 doubles.

Costello, a first baseman and third baseman, hit a three-run homer in the third inning in the decisive Game 4 of the 2018 Florida State League Championship Series against Daytona to lead the Miracle to their second FSL title in five years. He also hit a solo homer for Pensacola in the 2019 Southern League playoffs.

The Tuatara plan to hold a news conference on Tuesday to provide more information.

Do-Hyoung Park covers the Twins for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @dohyoungpark and on Instagram at dohyoung.park.