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#19: Matt Hagen - 200304/18/2007 5:28 PM ET
Each Wednesday timberrattlers.com will countdown the top 20 seasons by a Timber Rattler until #1 is revealed on August 29th. This week: #19
Matt Hagen 2003
.220 batting average, 65 runs, 99 hits, 28 doubles, 0 triples, 21 home runs, 65 rbi's, 8 stolen bases, .422 slugging percentage, .309 on base average
Matt Hagen hit .344 with 18 homers and 64 runs batted in for Liberty University in 2002. This caught the eye of the Seattle Mariners, and they selected him in the 12th round of the 2002 draft. After signing, Hagen made his professional debut for the Everett Aquasox of the Northwest League. He popped seven more homers with Everett while hitting .289.
Assigned to Wisconsin for the 2003 season, Hagen was the starting third baseman on Opening Day. Hagen's home runs are the big number that earned him a place on the countdown. The 21 tied Juan Silvestre's team record that was set in 1999, and ranked third in the Midwest League behind Jayson Drobiak (30) and Prince Fielder (27). His eleven home runs at the break helped him be one of eight Timber Rattlers to be selected to the All Star Game hosted by West Michigan. He came out of the break on fire, going yard in each of his first two games. It looked like Hagen would easily break the record after he tied the record on August 9th at home vs. Beloit, but Hagen failed to homer in the last 19 games he appeared, and had to settle for a tie. His .220 batting average really hurt his chances of landing higher on the list, plus his 129 strikeouts placed him third in the league .
Unfortunately, Hagen has only hit 20 home runs in professional baseball since that 2003 season in Wisconsin. The Mariners released him during the 2005 season and he ended up in the CanAm League. The Padres signed him in 2006 and tried to convert him to catcher, but he was released after hitting .176 with Lake Elsinore in the California League.
Previously on the countdown:
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