That's a solid 30 more than A-Rod can really expect to retire with. Did I mention he has a chance to break the all-time RBI record, something I imagined impossible until Pujols came along? That's right, if he plays 10 more seasons, Pujols is on pace to obliterate Aaron's record of 2, RBI. We could be looking at a 2,RBI career. The St. Louis Cardinals have been a dizzying array of surprise rookies, wily veterans and random no-names for as long as I can remember. Pujols has been the one constant in the lineup.
Most big hitters in the game today have some kind of protection around them.
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Pujols is the one providing the protection. He could play for the Houston Astros without Carlos Lee, and he would still hit over. That's just the kind of pure talent he has. A sweeter right-handed stroke hasn't been seen in baseball. So we've established that Pujols could put up monster numbers even with tee-ball teammates. The other thing that convinces me he'll be the greatest ever, is that he just hits everything.
You know those hot and cold grid zone graphics they toss up on the screen? Well, red stands for hot, as in don't throw it there. All nine grids for Pujols are more red than his Cardinals hat. I can only imagine a catcher coming out to the mound to chat with his pitcher as Pujols strolls to the plate with the bases loaded:.
Okay, so it's not that extreme. But you get the point.
Pujols is dangerous in any situation against any pitcher in any game. There is no weakness in his swing. For example, you can beat a lot of power hitters with high fastballs or breaking balls low and away. Well, Alexi Ogando threw him high heat in the sixth inning and the ball ended up halfway to Oklahoma.
Darren Oliver threw him some nasty stuff on the outside corner in the ninth and the ball landed in the last row of the bleachers. You get my drift. Okay, so the guy rakes. We get it. Can he do anything else? Well, I'm glad you asked!
Albert Pujols is the man. But what makes him so great?
Pujols has been one of the better defensive first baseman in the league for some time. He never looks lazy out there and has a knack for bumbling that awkward body around the infield to make some pretty stellar plays. He's smart; he knows situational baseball like nobody's business and always seems to make the great plays look routine, and the tough plays look unbelievable.
Pujols has two Gold Glove awards to his name so far, but should be in the running every season.
This year, he had a. In , he made four errors, good for a.
Long story short, he's not some basher you put over at first base to limit the defensive damage. A five-tool player is considered to be able to hit for average, hit for power, have speed, a gun for an arm, and play great defense. It's rare you find someone with that entire skill set. Pujols doesn't have speed or a gun for an arm. But he hits for average, drops bombs and plays great defense.
In my opinion, Pujols is a five-tool player in his own right. By that I mean, he's got three of the five "requirements" to begin with. But, while he's not speedy by any means, he is a brilliant base runner. Like I mentioned, Pujols knows situational baseball better than Ken Jennings knows abstract trivia answers. He gets good breaks on the base paths, goes first to third, knows how to slide and even has a decent stat sheet for base running 84 steals in tries.
The last Pujols Pentagon requirement is leadership. He exudes this trait on the field and off the field. He's in a state of constant hustle on the field, doesn't get in arguments or brawls, and wins with class. Pujols' demeanor is one of the main reasons St. Louis can throw together a patchwork lineup every season and still win. So Pujols has the stats, he stays healthy and is the complete package.
Albert the Great: The Albert Pujols Story
Even some players with great numbers have a few huge years and then a bad one. Well, consider this. In , Pujols had what was widely considered a down year. Here are his numbers:. My goodness. For the first time in Albert's career, he hit below. He was literally one point, or one RBI away from reaching both benchmarks for the 11th straight season.
He's never hit fewer than 32 home runs in a season. The last time Pujols had an on-base percentage lower than. That means even in an off-year, Pujols is getting on base and helping his team in more than one-third of his at-bats. A big part of the consistency throughout his great career has been due to staying healthy.
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But even so, the fact that he never has a truly bad season is ridiculous. We'll never really know, because the American justice system won't let us. Even if he wasn't, he was an all-league jackass. Albert Pujols has been a class act on and off the field since he joined the Cardinals. Check your local Dymocks store for stock. Enter your postcode: Please enter a valid postcode. Please note that prices may vary between www.
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