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Shane Spencer new Somerset hitting coach

01/07/2013 3:10 PM ET
By Jon Lane

Shane Spencer played for the Yankees from 1998 to 2002.(AP)
Former New York Yankees outfielder Shane Spencer was hired on Monday as hitting coach for the Somerset Patriots of the independent Atlantic League of Professional Baseball. Spencer will work under first-year Patriots manager Brett Jodie, once a teammate of his in the Yankees’ Minor League system.

Spencer replaces Travis Anderson, who stepped down from the position after three seasons. Following his retirement, Spencer spent two years as a hitting coach for the San Diego Padres’ Class-A organization.

“I’ve done the hitting coach job in the (affiliated) Minor Leagues and I was looking for something different,” Spencer said. “I have some friends who played in the Atlantic League and they thought that would be a better fit. You’re teaching guys to get to the big leagues. You’re not quite teaching an organizational way. I like that.”

Spencer played in 538 career games for the Yankees, Texas Rangers, Cleveland Indians and New York Mets, finishing with a .262 batting average, 59 home runs and 242 RBIs. He’s best remembered for hitting 10 homers – three grand slams – in 67 at-bats following his September call-up by the Yankees in 1998.

“I was in so many championships with the Yankees in the Minor Leagues,” Spencer said. “When you come up with guys like Mariano Rivera, Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada and Andy Pettitte you’ve got a pretty good chance. It seemed like we were so stacked at every level and we were always in championships. When you’re around that you learn it’s the only you’re up for. There is individual stuff, but the coaching staff in the Minor Leagues really prepares you for that. It is a team game.”

Follow Jon Lane on Twitter: @JonLaneNYC

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