Bridgewater, NJ- The Somerset Patriots have announced that second baseman Matt Hagen has been selected to the 2010-2019 All-Decade Team.
“My time as a Somerset Patriot was in many ways the highlight of my playing career,” said Hagen. “Somerset was the perfect storm of great players, great people, great fans, and championships. I would relive my life as a Patriot in a heartbeat.”
Hagen’s stats for the 2010 and 2011 seasons combined for a .260 batting average with 195 hits, 20 home runs and 103 RBI over 217 games played.
He first came to the Patriots to be a role player off the bench, but instantly impacted the team and became an everyday starter in the infield and outfield.
In his first season with the team in 2008, Hagen became an All-Star with a .308 batting average, 71 runs scored, 132 hits, 23 doubles, four triples, 17 home runs, 71 RBI, and 34 stolen bases in 117 games played.
His consistent play made him one of the standouts on a team that included the league’s Player of the Year (Josh Pressley) and earned him the starting second baseman position towards the end of the season into the playoffs.
It was clear that once he became a Patriot, Hagen hit his stride and was an invaluable part of the franchise’s return to the top of the standings.
He helped lead the Patriots to the championship in 2008 and returned for his second All-Star season with the team in 2009, finishing among the league leaders with a .317 average, 88 runs, 143 hits, 36 doubles, 10 home runs, and 75 RBI in 120 games played.
The 2009 team went on to win a league record 86 games on their way to Somerset’s second straight championship, the first back-to-back titles in league history. In the playoffs, Hagen hit .294 with seven runs, 10 hits, six doubles, a home run, and eight RBI in eight games.
He became a fan favorite and part of the team’s core during a successful run that saw the team make the post-season in three straight seasons from 2008 through 2010. During that time, the roster featured several players that returned year after year and became the faces of the organization at the ballpark and throughout the community.
“It truly does not get much better than Matt Hagen both on and off the field. What a total package,” said Somerset Patriots manager Brett Jodie. “Matt is genuinely one of the best I have ever been around. Hagen was so big and strong, but had the athleticism of a much smaller guy. His unique abilities allowed him to play anywhere on the field. And we used him in that utility role until we had a hole to fill at second base. Matt could steal bases, hit home runs, drive in runs, play stellar defense and had a cannon for an arm. But above all that he was even better as a teammate and presence in the locker room. I find myself extremely fortunate to have crossed paths with Matt Hagen. It was a pleasure to have worked with him. There were a lot of reasons we were successful during his playing days. He truly was and still is very special.”
Hagen finished his overall time in Somerset with a .280 average, 538 hits, 126 doubles, 58 home runs, and 290 RBI in 545 games played.
Voting took place online and over 5,000 fans casted their ballots for their favorite players at each position from January 3rd through April 15th. The Somerset Patriots All-Decade Team will be announced over the next few weeks.