Ryan Costello, a baseball prospect from Wethersfield who played for a minor league team affiliated with the Minnesota Twins, has died. He was 23.
Costello was found dead in a hotel room in New Zealand on Monday morning, according to officials with the Auckland Tuatara, the winter league team to which Costello belonged. The team released a statement on its website, saying that preliminary indications suggest Costello died of natural causes.
Costello, who was born in Hartford in 1996, played college ball at Central Connecticut State University. He was recruited to CCSU by coach Charlie Hickey. Speaking with Connecticut Public Radio Monday, Hickey remembered his time with the player.
“Opposite my desk is a couch, and I could remember him sitting on that a number of times and us having passionate discussions about his ability, his work ethic, and all of the stuff that as a coach you take pride in trying to push kids to be their best -- and he was one of our best to ever play here,” Hickey said.
Hickey, who coached Costello for three years, said that managing him was a challenge and that coaches always remember those players.
“He was always confident -- he liked to do things his way, which was fine because he was very successful at it,” Hickey said. “He had aspirations of being a major league baseball player, and unfortunately that dream is not going to happen.”
The Minnesota Twins expressed their condolences in a statement to their fans.
“We are saddened to learn of the untimely passing of Ryan Costello. The entire Twins organization sends our most sincere condolences to Ryan’s family, friends, coaches, and teammates.”
Costello played in 280 minor league games after originally being drafted by the Seattle Mariners in 2017.