Albert Pujols is a future MLB Hall-of-Famer, especially after reaching 3,000 career hits on Friday night. If you say otherwise, your brain is most likely just a pile of scrambled eggs. Pujols is one of the best, if not the best, first basemen of all-time, but it seems people have forgotten that. I’m here to remind you.
It may just be me, but I feel Pujols’ time with the Los Angeles Angels has diluted his career for some. People need to remember how good this guy was when he was gracing first base for the St.Louis Cardinals.
Coming up in 2001, Pujols stayed with the Cards until the 7th game of the 2011 World Series. Between that time, “The Machine” averaged 40 home runs, a .328 average, and a 1.037 OPS; and that’s his average year.
He won the National League MVP award on three separate occasions with St.Louis. What is even more impressive is that Pujols placed top five in MVP voting 10 of his 11 years in Cardinal red. The lone season he did not (2007), he came in 9th after hitting .327 with 32 bombs. Then the Angels tossed him a boatload of money and he dipped from the Cardinals.
In the offseason after getting his second World Series Championship, Pujols signed a 10-year $254 million deal for Los Angeles. Right now, Pujols is in the midst of his seventh season with the club. Pujols has not necessarily been bad, but nothing close to what he was early in his career. Not including the 32 games he has played in 2018, Pujols has averaged a .262 average, 28 homers, and a .777 OPS. Not close to what he used to do.
These last 6 years have made people dismiss from their mind the times when Pujols was a man amongst boys. It is comparable to what his current teammate Mike Trout is doing.
Pujols will go down as one of the best ever. I already discussed some of his accolades, but he is also the owner of two Gold Gloves, six Silver Sluggers, 10 All-Star game appearances, and a 2003 batting title where he hit .359. That goes along with the fact that Pujols became only the fourth player in MLB history with 3,000 hits and 600 home runs.
There is a reason Pujols was dubbed “The Machine” by people. He just raked. So much to the point that they already started making his plaque for Cooperstown.
-Jarrod Ribaudo (@Jribs53)