SOMERSET PATRIOTS SIGN INFIELDER DARWIN PEREZ

The Somerset Patriots have announced the signing of infielder Darwin Perez.

“I am looking forward to getting over to Somerset and start playing,” Perez said. “I heard it was a good place to play. I am excited!”

Perez enters his first season with the Somerset Patriots and in the Atlantic League. He was originally signed by the Los Angeles Angels organization as a 16 year-old. Perez spent the first seven years of his career with the Angels, reaching as high as Triple-A Salt Lake in 2010.

The Maracay, Venezuela native most recently played with Double-A Midland in the Oakland Athletics organization, where he stole 19 bases with 34 RBI during the 2013 season.

Perez has stolen at least 10 bases in seven of eight professional seasons, including a 23-steal campaign with Double-A Arkansas (seventh-most in the Texas League) in 2011.

That season, Perez was also named a Texas League Gold Glove recipient, posting a .981 fielding percentage over 117 games at shortstop. He only made nine errors on 482 chances in the field.

“Darwin is a solid middle infielder,” manager Brett Jodie said. “We have heard great things about his athleticism and his glove. He is also an above average base runner who will add to our team speed and base-stealing ability. We look forward to Darwin coming into camp and competing for time in our infield.”

The switch-hitter owns a career .251 batting average with 19 home runs, 278 RBI and 111 stolen bases over his eight-year professional career.

In other team news, the Somerset Patriots have traded outfielder Michael Burgess to the St. Paul Saints (American Association) for Future Considerations. Burgess hit 15 home runs with 59 RBI over 84 regular season games with the team last year.

The Somerset Patriots won their Atlantic League leading sixth championship during the 2015 season. Tickets are now on-sale for the upcoming 2016 season and the schedule can be viewed athttp://www.somersetpatriots.com. For more information or to purchase tickets for the 2016 season, stop by TD Bank Ballpark, call (908) 252-0700, or visit http://www.somersetpatriots.com.