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Player of the Decade

Player of the Decade: Troy Prober capped Righetti career with stellar senior season

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Troy Prober enjoyed a solid career at Righetti High heading into his final athletic season with the Warriors.

A two-year starter at quarterback for the football team, Prober was also a reliable infielder and pitcher on the baseball team. 

In his final stanza, though, in the spring of 2013, just as he was set to graduate, Prober put a brilliant cap to his noteworthy career. 

Prober helped the Warriors to a share of the PAC 7 League championship, earned league MVP honors and was named the 2013 Santa Maria Times All-Area MVP.

He went 9-1 with a 1.96 earned run average that year as the Warriors split the league championship with Arroyo Grande. Prober also hit .337 and drove in 21 runs as he hauled in multiple MVP awards.

Prober helped the Warriors win every league series they played in except against Arroyo Grande. 

Prober is the second nominee for the Player of the Decade award, joining former Santa Ynez standout Zach Torra, a left-handed pitcher. 

For his career, Prober played in 69 baseball games at Righetti, hitting .325 with 55 hits in 169 at-bats. He scored 42 times, drove in 36 runs during his career. 

As a pitcher, Prober started 23 games at Righetti, going 14-6 with six complete games and three career shutouts. Prober compile a 2.96 ERA over 130 innings, allowing 98 hits while striking out 107.  

Back in 2013, then-Righetti coach Brian Tomooka said Prober's rough outing against Crespi helped turn his season around.

"Crespi has a quality program. He struggled that game. I think that motivated him for the rest of the year," Tomooka said in 2013. “The rest of that year, he was tough to beat.”

Righetti finished its PAC 7 season on a nine-game winning streak.

“(In 2012), we ran into a pretty good Chino Hills team in the wild card game (in the playoffs). Chino Hills no-hit us," Tomooka said. "(In 2013), we beat Chino Hills 3-0 in a wild card game. Troy threw a three-hit shutout.” 

Prober said the development of his slider was key in him having a stellar senior campaign. 

“Jerry Watson, our pitching coach, taught me how to throw it,” the right-hander said then. “That helped tremendously. It turned into a good secondary pitch for me, behind my fastball. I would say my pitching went a whole lot better this year (than last).”

Prober went on to play football and baseball at Hancock College after his lengthy career at Righetti was complete.

The Times is polling current and former coaches to develop its list of nominees for Player of the Decade. A tournament-style voting contest will be held to determine the Player of the Decade. Readers will be able to vote online at; and Players from Northern Santa Barbara County and Southern San Luis Obispo County whose final seasons where between 2009-10 and 2019-20 are eligible.


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