It sounds like Cole Percival wanted to wear an Angels uniform, but he becomes a Dodger instead.
According to a recent report by Maria Torres of the Los Angeles Times, the son of former Angels closer Troy Percival has signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers as a free agent. Cole Percival was in the running to be selected in this year’s MLB First-Year Player Draft, but the shortened nature of the draft left him on the open market.
As Torres outlines for the Los Angeles Times, Cole Percival had a lot of interest in becoming a member of the Angels, but the Angels ultimately passed. Now, the cross town rival Dodgers are taking a shot on the right-hander. The Dodgers are one of the best teams in the league in terms of identifying lower-level talent and developing them, so there is probably something to like within Cole Percival’s background.
Cole himself told Torres that he grew up a fan of the Halos, watching the highlight reels of the 2002 World Series title. He has been called a near silhouette of his father with his build and delivery. His father set the organization’s record for most saves with 316.
Cole Percival is not a unique case as the Angels have not signed any un-drafted free agents after the draft, which is quite unusual. Most teams have. This is what Cole Percival had to say about the Angels not pursuing him:
"“It was a little disappointing because I felt like it could have been a really good fit.”"
It is possible that Percival would have been an excellent fit for an Angels farm system that is currently hurting for minor league pitching talent to go along with first-round draft choice Reid Detmers. Percival attended UC Riverside and given his dad’s connection to the team, it is a bit uncanny that there were no conversations at all between him and the Halos.
Only time will tell whether or not Cole becomes a bonafide big league arm like his father. It could happen given the MLB makeup, but it’s quite possible he never makes it. Regardless, the idea that the Angels basically passed on a low-price arm that was practically begging to be placed in the Angels’ system is interesting and hopefully it does not come back to bite them.