All-Angels Team: Closing Pitcher

By Brian Helberg
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Troy Percival (1995-2004)

The Angels all-time leader in saves hardly needs an introduction. Troy Percival set the gold standard in Anaheim with 316 career saves while wearing an Angels’ uniform. Closing out game seven of the 2002 World Series against the San Francisco Giants punctuated a sparkling career in the big A. Percival was originally a sixth round selection of the California Angels in 1990, and made his debut with the Halos in ’95. Percival was a powerful righty, who is making his first appearance on the Baseball Hall-of-Fame ballot in 2014. Percival made four All-Star games as a member of the Halos, and currently ranks ninth in Major League history in saves.

Percival pitched in a remarkable 703 games over his 10-year career with the Angels, going 29-38 and posting an ERA of 2.99. Percival relied heavily on a fastball that touched triple digits early on in his illustrious career. Percival posted a career high 42 saves in 1998, but 2002 was his crowning moment. Not only did the Halos win the World Series, but also Percival went 4-1, with 40 saves and a 1.92 ERA during the regular season. Percival went on to the tie the record for most saves in a single postseason with seven during the Angels magical run. Percival averaged 10.4 strikeouts per 9 innings, and allowed just 3.9 walks per 9 innings in his career with the Angels. His 6 hits per 9 innings, and 1 home run per 9 innings are very impressive. Percival registered a whopping 16.9 WAR over his career in Anaheim, which puts him atop the list of career wins above replacement for an Angels’ reliever.