Ryan Costello, a 23-year-old prospect in the Minnesota Twins system, was found dead in his Auckland, New Zealand, hotel room days after joining a minor league team in that country.

The team confirmed the death of the infielder/outfielder Monday morning, with a club statement saying preliminary indications were that he had died of natural causes in his sleep.

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

A native of Wethersfield, Conn., Costello had arrived in New Zealand last week and was to play for the Auckland Tuatara, whose season begins Wednesday, in the Australian Baseball League.

“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 (via MILB.com). “Support is being offered to the Tuatara players, who are naturally devastated at the moment.”

On the Tuatara team’s Facebook page, Mike Harrison wrote: “On behalf of his family here at home thank you for everyone who got to meet him there he said it was beautiful and the people were so nice! We are deeply saddened and are in disbelief we loved him so much! He will be missed forever.”

Costello was a 31st-round pick in the 2017 draft by the Seattle Mariners out of Central Connecticut State. He and Chase De Jong were traded to the Twins for pitcher Zach Duke in July 2018. In September of the year, his three-run homer helped Class A Fort Myers win the Florida State League title.

Costello played first and third and the outfield, spending the 2019 season in Class A Fort Myers and Class AA Pensacola. He hit .223 with 15 home runs and 46 RBI over 108 games.

The Tuatara signed Costello in September. “Costello will be huge, because he can play all over the field — first base, third base, as well as left field and right field,” Manager Steve Mintz told Newshub New Zealand at the time. “He is a left bat and will ground out at-bats for us, while providing some pop.”

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