Nov. 18 (UPI) -- Ryan Costello, a 23-year-old Minnesota Twins prospect, was found dead in a hotel room Monday in New Zealand. Preliminary indications suggest he died of natural causes, according to his Australian Baseball League team.
The Aukland Tuatara released a statement on Costello's death Monday morning. Costello arrived in Aukland, New Zealand, last week to play his first season with the team.
"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 Tuatara said.
"Support is being offered to the Tuatara players, who are naturally devastated at the moment."
The Wethersfield, Conn., native was a 31st round pick by the Seattle Mariners in the 2017 MLB Draft. He played collegiately at Central Connecticut State University.
Costello spent the 2019 season between the Single-A Fort Myers Miracle and Double-A Pensacola Blue Wahoos. He played 280 Minor League Baseball games, but never broke into Major League Baseball. Costello hit .290 with 14 home runs during his collegiate career.
He hit a go-ahead three-run home run in the 2018 Florida State League Championship Series to help lead the Miracle to their second title in five years.
"We were very sad to learn the news about the passing of former Miracle infielder Ryan Costello this morning," the Miracle tweeted. "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."
The Mariners traded Costello and Chase De Jong to the Twins in July 2018 in exchange for pitcher Zach Duke and cash.
"Ryan's infectious energy and drive for greatness will never be forgotten," Twins assistant general manager Jeremy Zoll tweeted. "He is the definition of a great teammate and has been taken from us far too soon. Sending thoughts and prayers to the Costello family."
The Tuatara face the Perth Heat Wednesday at North Harbour Stadium in Aukland.