Matt Hagen Interview

Matt Hagen was originally drafted by the Seattle Mariners in the 12th round (370th overall) of the 2002 MLB Amateur Draft out of Liberty University.

Hagen played four seasons in the Mariners organization with his best coming in 2004 with Wisconsin(AA) when he hit 21 home runs and drove in 65 RBI's.

In 2006, Hagen signed with the Padres organization and split time between Lake Elsinore (A+), and Mobile (AA).

After a season with the Rockford RiverHawks of the Frontier League in 2007, Hagen signed with the Somerset Patriots in 2008.

Hagen made an immediate impact with the Patriots in 2008 hitting .308 with 17 home runs, and 71 RBI's. He also had a career high with 34 stolen bases.

From 2008 to 2011, Hagen would become a star for Somerset, helping them win two Atlantic League Championships (2008 & 2009). In 2009, he was an Atlantic League All-Star.

Hagen retired from playing baseball after the 2011 season, and accepted a coaching position at his Alma-mater, Liberty University.

CM: What was it like playing baseball at Liberty University?

MH: Liberty was a great experience for me. I loved it there. I made friendships there that I believe I will have until the day I die. Liberty will always hold a special place in my heart.

CM: You were selected in the 12th round (370th overall) in the 2002 MLB Draft by the Seattle Mariners. Do you remember where you were when you were drafted? What was your reaction?

MH: I was sitting at the computer at my parents house listening to the draft live. As the rounds went by I started to get a bit disappointed. I got a call from a different team asking if I would still sign that late or if I would go back to school? Then I heard my name a few seconds later. I was over joyed. It was a great sense of accomplishment.

CM: What was your favorite memory of playing in the Mariners organization?

MH: Spring training was always a blast. I was able to dress and play in a few big league spring training games and got to know a few of the players I grew up watching. That part was a lot of fun. I'm extremely grateful for the time I had there. I learned a ton about baseball and life.

CM: What were the circumstances of you ending up in the Padres organization?

MH: I had been released by Seattle and signed with the Padres out of an invitation only try out. There was definitely a difference in approaches to the game. It was a very refreshing experience for me and I played for a great manager in Rick Renteria.

CM: In 2008, you signed with Somerset. What was your first reaction of the Patriots and the Atlantic League?

MH: I learned quickly the Atlantic League was the best competition I had ever played against. Brett Jodie went out on a limb and took a chance on a guy who had had a couple of down years. For that I will always be grateful. I really tried to soak up all the experience from the older players as fast as I could.

CM: I've noticed that you're stolen bases increased during your time in the Atlantic League. What was the reason for that?

MH: I had changed my workout routine a little, but I could always run pretty good. However, the biggest reason was that I had a green light to run and the more I tried to run the better I got at it.




CM: What did it mean to you to win the 2008 and 2009 Atlantic League championships?

MH: Winning in 2008 was a big accomplishment. I had been to the playoffs every year but one in my career without winning a ring. No many people get to win a title let alone two. I felt like I had a bigger role in winning the second title because I was in more of a leadership role that year.

CM: What's your favorite ballpark in the Atlantic League?

MH: TD bank is my favorite, it's classic and clean. Plus, it has the best playing surface. I also like York because of the unique qualities of the field. However, my favorite place to play was Long Island because of the fans and I liked to hit there.

CM: Josh Pressley had his rights traded to Sugar Land this off-season, and you retired after last season. How do you think this is going to affect the chemistry with the Patriots?

MH: I think the chemistry will definitely be quite different. Josh was an irreplaceable part of the success in Somerset as were so many of the guys who won't be back there. However, there are still good people in Somerset who know how to win. I wish them nothing but the best.

CM: You've been hired to be a coach at your Alma-mater Liberty University. How do you feel about going back as a coach?

MH: I'm excited to be back at Liberty (University). It's a special place and I will take this responsibility very seriously. I hope to be able to pass on what I've learned and to pass on my passion for the game of baseball.

CM: If you could play catch with one person dead or alive, who would it be?

MH: Tough question. It would have to be my dad. The man who introduced me to the game and taught me many lessons that transferred over to the crazy life of being a ball player.

You Might Also Like

1 comments

  1. Wishing you Nothing but the Best Matt you were apart of the Somerset Family and will always be a aprt of this club. Nothing but well wishes for you Matt. come back and visist us some time. Thanks for all your Hard work while making #39 look so good ~ Roy

    ReplyDelete

Flickr Images