How good is Albert Pujols, really?
After a historic from Albert Pujols in which the Cardinlas first baseman hit three home runs(Only Babe Ruth and Reggie Jackson have achieved that), drove in 6, and tied the record for most hits in a single World Series game(5-6), he also set the record for most total bases with 14, and the list goes on and on. Pujols is often regarded as the best player in baseball, but many fans seem to not truly appreciate what #5, does for the Cardinals, so I want to show how good Albert Pujols really is.
Pujols was added to the opening day roster in 2001 after an injury to Bobby Bonilla. Pujols then a left fielder shocked the world as he had a tremendous rookie season and helped lead the Cardinals to the postseason, by batting .329, hitting 37 home runs, and driving in 130, also he had 47 doubles,by far the greatest rookie season in Cardinals history. Pujols easily took home the NL Rookie of the Year award and also took home a Silver Slugger. The young Albert Pujols showed that he didn’t have a lucky rookie season following his rookie campaign with a .314 average, 34 homeruns, and 127 RBI’s. Pujols then began establishing himself as one of the premier young players in the game moving his position from the outfield to third base and eventually first base. Pujols set a record for the most consecutive seasons to start a career with a .300+ batting average, 30+ homeruns, and 100+RBI’s. He kept that streak going until this season where he fell just short batting .299, with 99 RBI’s, but he did still hit 37 homers.
Albert has also done some crazy things in the postseason as well, he has 18 career postseason homeruns which is tied with Reggie Jackson for fourth all time. He has been a part of some of the most famous games in postseason history including the game in which he had the historic clutch towering homerun off of Brad Lidge in the 2005 NLCS. he has also been a three time NL Champion, and a World Series championship in 2006, and possibly another one coming soon as the Cardinals lead the Rangers, 2-1 in the 2011 World Series.
Pujols is truly a machine his unrealistic numbers in just 11 seasons in Major League Baseball is unreal. He has a career .328 average, 445 home runs, and 1329 RBI’s. He also has 455 doubles, .420 OBP, .617 slugging percentage, and 2,073 career hits. All of these numbers have come to the only franchise he has known the St. Louis Cardinals, a team that drafted him in the 13th round, yes 13th, Chris Duncan was drafted ahead of him, that is just madness. Pujols has also had several accolades winning three MVP awards (’05,’08,and ’09) and he finished in the top 10 of the MVP voting every year he has been around, finishing second in the MVP balloting three times. He has won two Gold Glove awards at first, 6 Silver Sluggers, he has been an All Star nine times, he has won the Roberto Clemente award, he has won the Hank Aaron award twice, and the list goes on and on.
Pujols has only been in the game 11 seasons and has managed to do some crazy things, with many years to come and a free agent year coming, I really hope that the Cardinals can manage to keep Albert a Cardinal for life, and watch as he gets his 3,000th hit, 500th, 600th, and who knows maybe even his 700th homeruns as a Cardinal. It will be a shame not only for the Cardinals but for all of baseball if Pujols signs elsewhere and I truly believe if he gets a 2011 World Series ring, and maybe even the World Series MVP it will be hard to imagine him signing anywhere else, but St. Louis. Albert Pujols really is one of the greatest players to ever play the game and to think that he still has alot of years left is just scary, scary for the other teams that will still have to face him. Pujols will go down along with Stan Musial as the greatest Cardinals of all time, The Man and El Hombre represent two great generations of baseball and two of the greatest players to ever play the game.