Big Al is one of the most decorated baseball players on an active roster. His incredible versatility and dominance on both sides of the diamond. His accolades prove his worth, and his career numbers double it down.
Albert Pujols has announced he’s retiring after the 2022 season, and even at old age, he continues to dominate. Putting away his MLB career with a bang, he’s playing at an elite level once again. Although this year is great, his achievements and career success should be highlighted even more.
Decade of Cardinals
Albert Pujols was drafted in the 13th round by the Cardinals organization in 1999, and he never looked back. Getting called up for the 2001 season, he came out swinging with 37 home runs. From that point forward, he never looked back.
From 2001 to 2011, he had 445 home runs. In every season with the Cardinals, he hit at least 30 home runs. He was one of the best bats in baseball during his reign, and his awards account for this as well.
Obviously, Albert Pujols was a landslide for Rookie of the Year. 3 NL MVPs, 2 World Series Championships, and a two time NL home run leader. His terror spread like wildfire throughout the league and put the Cardinals at the top. He was a dominant force and proved to be unstoppable.
Slip n’ Slide
Albert Pujols’ earned his way into a 10-year $254 million dollar contract with the Los Angeles Angels. Coming off of a World Series win, he was labeled the “LeBron James” of MLB. He was looking up, and after another 30 home run season, there was a Mary Poppins bag of hope.
Year 1 on the Angels was a bit of a drop, but still playing at a superstar level. Although he barely reached 30 homers and dropped 1 percent in BA, he was still as incredible of a player.
The injury bug strikes, and the 2013 season earned Albert Pujols less than 100 games of experience and under a .260 batting average. After the 2014 season, Albert Pujols didn’t bat over .250 for 5 of his 6 more seasons in LA.
Once 2020 hit, he was still a power hitter that scared opposing teams, but while his homers stayed consistent, his batting average decreased. It seemed like after his decade span, he was decreasing in production.
2020 was messy, and 2021 wasn’t much of a difference. At a ripe 40 years old, he may have been past his prime. After another disappointing season with 17 home runs, all seemed lost. His Dodger’s season felt off, but Albert Pujols had one last season to prove himself and put a stamp on his illustrious career.
Welcome Back Big Al
We have seen a resurgence in Alber Pujols, playing like a freshly oiled machine. He’s played 79 games on the season and already has 15 home runs on a refreshing batting average of .277. He has his highest SLG since his last season in St. Louis a decade ago, an incredible way to top it all off.
Pujols ended his career with 694 home runs, putting him at No. 5 on the all-time list. He is the all-time leader in home runs hit off of different pitchers, topping off at 450.
Pujols, even at his worst, was one of the best power hitters in baseball. However, this doesn’t even put into account his two golden glove awards, and was considered the best defensive 1st baseman in baseball 5 separate times. He has complete control over MLB when he’s at his best, and deserves to be a first-ballot hall Of Famer.