Top 15 Patriots: #8 Michael Warner

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Bridgewater, NJ – Centerfielder Michael Warner has been named #8 on the Patriots Top 15 list, a part of the team’s 15th Season Anniversary, designed to celebrate the best players in team history as voted on by fans, Patriots players and coaches, and team officials.

“I loved my time in Somerset. I still think about it now and follow what the team is up to. I always recall how much fun we had on those teams,” Warner said. “The organization put great players on the field that always gave you the best chance to win.

Warner joined the Patriots early in the 2000 season after beginning the year with the Atlantic City Surf. It didn’t take long for Warner to make an impact on the team, becoming one of the Patriots top hitters. He finished the season with a .303 average, 133 hits, 33 doubles, nine home runs, 53 RBI, and 47 stolen bases.

He returned in 2001 ready to take the league by storm with one of the top offensive seasons in Atlantic League history. Warner was among the league leaders in every offensive category throughout the entire season. He finished the season with a .351 batting average with 144 hits, 17 home runs, 31 doubles, 52 extra base hits, 99 runs scored, and 103 RBI. He had 42 two or more hit games and 38 two or more RBI games to lead Somerset to 83 wins and the team’s first championship season.

He became the Patriots first player to be named Atlantic League “Player of the Year.” The honors continued when Baseball America named him their “Independent Minor League Player of the Year.”

“It was the best year of my career. I was very lucky and it gave me opportunities to do great things after that season,” added Warner.

Immediately following the season, Warner was signed by the Oakland A’s, where he played at the Double-A level in 2002.

He returned to Somerset again in 2003 to help the Patriots win their second championship in three years.

Warner finished his time with the team with a .310 batting average in 370 games played from 2000 through 2003.

Throughout the 2012 season, the Patriots will be counting down the Top 15 players in team history and then highlight the chosen players on baseball card giveaways and a special lithograph during the year.

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