The move had some risks when former York Revolution manager Andy Etchebarren brought in Andres Perez last offseason.
Perez had proven he could hold his own in the Atlantic League after batting .313 with 15 homers and 54 RBIs in 87 games with the Bridgeport Bluefish in 2011. But Etchebarren wanted to try moving Perez from the outfield to second base.
Despite not having regularly played the infield since high school, Perez blossomed at second base as the 2012 season progressed, mainly thanks to the teachings of former player-coach Liu Rodriguez.
The Stony Brook University product also had his best season at the plate last year. Batting in the No. 5 slot most of the season behind slugger Chris Nowak, Perez set career-highs in batting average (.321), home runs (23), RBIs (85), runs scored (85), hits (159) and extra-base hits (61).
Now he'll have the task of living up to those numbers again in a Revs' uniform. York announced Friday that Perez will return for the 2013 season. The club also announced the signing of catcher Patrick Arlis. York now has seven players under contract for the upcoming season. Spring training is scheduled to begin April 8.
A former prospect of the New York Yankees and Los Angeles Dodgers, Perez last played affiliated ball in 2010, when he hit .285 in only 41 games at High Class A Inland Empire (Dodgers). He hasn't played above that level in his six years as a pro.
Perez, 28, ranked fourth in the Atlantic League in homers and fifth in RBIs in 2012. The numbers helped him earn postseason All-Atlantic League First-Team honors while also being named to the Baseball America Independent League All-Star Team.
"I think he thought he had a deal from Mexico that was in place when our season was over," Revs' manager Mark Mason said. "Then a month ago he got a call and told us that fell through and he's available."
Mason said he plans to start Perez at second base. With Perez and third baseman Andy Marte signed, the Revs are still in search of a shortstop and first baseman to complete the infield.
Arlis, 32, will enter his 13th year as a pro playing for the Atlantic League for the first time in his career. He comes to York after splitting time last season between American Association clubs Amarillo and El Paso, where he batted a combined .275 in 81 games.
"He's a really good defensive catcher," Mason said. "He can hit, put the ball in play and he handles pitching staffs really well."
An 11th-round draft pick of the Miami Marlins in 2002, Arlis reached Class AAA Albuquerque in 2007 before being released that season and joining the Kansas City T-Bones in the independent Northern League. He spent the following season in the independent Golden League before joining the Milwaukee Brewers' organization in 2009. The Illinois native played mostly at the Brewers' Class AAA Nashville club through 2011 before going to the American Association in 2012.
Rodriguez, 36, will not return to York for a fifth-straight season in 2013. The Venezuela native has found a deal to play in Italy.
Reach John Walk at email@example.com.