Troy Percival

Troy Eugene Percival (born August 9, 1969 in Fontana, California) is a Major League Baseball closer, who plays for the Tampa Bay Rays. He spent most of his career with the California/Anaheim Angels and was a key member of that franchise's 2002 World Series championship team. He started playing baseball at Moreno Valley Youth Federation (MVYF) and was coached by Bill Yearsley in his early years. Percival played on the Moreno Valley High School baseball team, before attending the University of California, Riverside. He was then drafted by the California Angels in the 6th round of the 1990 amateur draft as a catcher. He batted .200 in his only season as a catcher and was converted to a pitcher when coaches noticed that his return throws to the mound were actually faster than the pitches he caught. He made his Major League debut as a reliever in 1995, and was mostly used as a setup man for Lee Smith. In 1996, he became the regular closer for the Angels and had 36 saves with 100 strikeouts in 74 innings. He is one of only six pitchers in the Angels' 44-year history to strike out at least 100 batters in a season without starting a game. The others are Mark Clear (105, 1980), De Wayne
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