BRIDGEWATER, NJ - The Somerset Patriots have hired former Major Leaguer Glen Barker as the team’s new hitting/third base coach.

Barker played in 235 games for the Houston Astros from 1999 through 2001. In 1999, he hit .288 with 23 runs scored, 21 hits, two doubles, a home run, 11 RBI and 17 stolen bases in 81 games played.

In 2003, Barker joined the Somerset Patriots for three games before signing with the Orioles. He is still tied for a team record for triples in a game (2) for his performance on May 23, 2003.

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“Even though I only played in Somerset for a few games, I always followed the team to see how they were doing over the years. I know it is a first class organization from top to bottom with great fans and a strong community. I look forward to being a part of a winning experience with the Patriots,” said Barker.

Originally drafted in the 11th round of the 1993 MLB draft by the Detroit Tigers, Barker spent six seasons in the organization before joining the Astros in 1999. His minor league career also included time in the Boston Red Sox and Baltimore Orioles organizations.

For his minor league career, Barker had 430 runs scored, 656 hits, 113 doubles, 31 triples, 37 home runs, 262 RBI and 236 stolen bases.

After his playing days, Barker served as the minor league outfield/ base running coordinator for the San Diego Padres organization from 2010 to 2014.

“Having played at all levels of the game, it helps as a coach to tell the players ‘look I’ve been in this situation before.’ It’s a game of failures that you have to learn how to work through to get better. Seeing it from a player’s perspective always helps,” Barker added.

Barker was born in Albany, NY, where he attended Albany High School and the College of St. Rose. He double majored in mathematics and chemistry.

“If I had a checklist for the best person for the position, he would satisfy all the criteria. Glen has a great feel for so many aspects of the game. Beyond just the mechanics of hitting, he’s a guy that brings a wealth of knowledge to our base running and defense. We hit it off right away and I think he will be a great fit for our coaching staff,” said Somerset Patriots manager Brett Jodie.

Barker becomes the eighth person to hold the position as Hitting/ 3B Coach for the Somerset Patriots and is replacing Shane Spencer, who held the job from 2013-2015. Spencer is headed to South Korea where he will be manager for the Nexen Heroes’ minor league system in the Korea Baseball Championship.

Barker is the first coaching change the team has made since Jodie took over as manager in 2013.

“We had a great run with Shane, Cory and I where we worked well together and were able to put up results. While it will be tough to replace Shane and what he has done for our team, I’m very excited to welcome Glen and the next chapter for us. Everything I have heard from Glen and others about him has all been positive. I think we have the right guy joining our family,” added Jodie.