Twins minor-leaguer Ryan Costello found dead in New Zealand hotel room

Minnesota Twins minor-league player Ryan Costello was found dead in his hotel room in New Zealand early Monday. Costello was set to play in the Australian Baseball League this offseason and an announcement was made by his team, the Auckland Tuatara. The 23-year-old was found in his hotel room after he failed to show up for a workout on Monday.

"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 club said in a statement. "Support is being offered to the Tuatara players, who are naturally devastated at the moment."

The Tuatara and the ABL both said that initial indications suggest Costello died of natural causes, per MiLB.com

"We are saddened to learn of the untimely passing of Ryan Costello," the Twins said in a statement. "The entire Twins organization sends our most sincere condolences to Ryan's family, friends, coaches and teammates." 

"Ryan's infectious energy and drive for greatness will never be forgotten," Twins assistant general manager Jeremy Zoll, who heads up farm system operations, said on Twitter. "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."  

Costello was selected in the 31st round in the 2017 Major League Baseball draft by the Mariners out of Central Connecticut State University. His pro career got off to a strong start as he hit .331/.430/.634 in 44 games of rookie ball. His star kept rising the next season, as he was an All-Star in the Class A Midwest League. He was then traded in July 2018 to the Twins organization along with pitcher Chase De Jong for MLB reliever Zach Duke

Costello finished the 2019 season with Double-A Pensacola. 

CBS Sports Writer

Matt Snyder has been a baseball writer with CBS Sports since 2011. A member of the BBWAA, he's now covered every World Series since 2010. The former Indiana University baseball player now lives on the... Full Bio

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