Albert Pujols is one of the best hitters of all time and is a lock for the Hall of Fame. I believe that people do not appreciate him enough. He has been putting up great year after great year for 17 years now.
The story of Albert Pujols is one that is not spoken about enough. Pujols grew up in the Dominican Republic most by his grandmother, since his father was an alcoholic. His father was a softball pitcher in the DR and he would often have no other choice, but to take his drunk father home from his games. Pujols’ getaway was baseball. He had love the sport ever since he was a little kid. Growing up in the Dominican, Pujols would use limes for baseballs and milk cartons for a glove. In 1996, Pujols and his moved moved to the United States, where the emergence of Albert begun.
During his high school career, many opposing coaches believed that Pujols was lying about his age. They believed he was older than he said he was. This was in part to how dominating Pujols was. A kid from the Dominican Republic that was dominating American pitching? Of course, he had to be older. What idiot coaches. In his senior year, Pujols was walked 55 times because of the fact that opposing coaches believe he was older than he was and did not want to pitch to him. In 33 official at-bats, in that same season, Pujols knocked 8 homers. Albert went on to receive a baseball scholarship to Maple Woods Community College. Pujols actually played SS in college and hit .461 with 22 HR in his freshman year. After a stellar freshman year, he went on to declare for the MLB draft, where he fell to the 13th round and was selected with the 402nd overall pick by the St. Louis Cardinals.
Now onto the reason as to why Pujols is one of the greatest, if not the greatest hitter of all time. First, let me spit out some of the accomplishments that he has achieved this year alone. When Albert recorded his 100th RBI of the year, he tied Alex Rodriguez for the most 100-RBI season in MLB history. Earlier in the year, Pujols passed Sammy Sosa for most homers by a foreign-born player in MLB history when he smacked his 610th career homer. Those two numbers alone should make you say, “Wow, Pujols might be the best hitter of all time”. Don’t worry, I have more for you.
Before I get into more stats, let me discuss some of Pujols’ accolades. He is a 3x MVP, winning the award in 2005, 2008 and 2009. He is one of ten players to ever win at least 3 MVP awards, the only one with more than 3 is Bonds with 7. In 2001, Albert won the Rookie of the Year award, in which it is argued may be the best rookie season ever. He had a .329 BA, a 1.013 OPS, 37 HR, 47 2B and 130 RBIs. He is also a 10x All-Star, 6x Silver Slugger, 2x Gold Glove winner and NLCS MVP. He also won the batting title in 2003 when he hit .359 and he is a 2x World Series winner. Pujols has played in 77 postseason games in which he has hit .323 with 19 HR (4th all time) and 54 RBIs (6th all time). He has scored 55 postseason runs (6th all time), 90 hits (7th all time), 167 total bases (4th all time) and 18 doubles (6th all time). Those are some impressive postseason numbers if you ask me.
Let me get into his regular season stats, so I can solidify his GOAT status. He is top 30 all time in multiple categories. He is 26th all time in offensive WAR (84.9), 21st in WAR among positions players (99.4), 15th in slugging percentage (.562), 20th in OPS (.948), runs score (1,722), 10th in total bases (5,458), 12th in doubles (618), 7th in homers (614), 10th in RBIS (1,917), 17th in runs created (2,084) and many more. It will take my a while if I keep going, but these are just a few.
On top of all these numbers, his career is not over. Every time you think he is washed up, he proves you wrong. As I mentioned, he recorded 100 RBIs once again this season. So, who can actually say and believe that he is washed up? If Pujols can drive in 83 more runs in his career, he will become only the 5th player ever to reach 2,000 RBIs. He would join Cap Anson, Alex Rodriguez, Babe Ruth and Hank Aaron. He is arguably a better hitter than all those named. I believe Pujols is the best hitter of all time. You can argue he is not, but he has been the most consistent hitter, while staying CLEAN since he has been in the league.
Photo Credits: ABC News
I'm a washed up D3 college baseball player who is pursuing their MBA in Accounting. I love baseball, basketball, and football; while rooting for the New York Mets, New York Knicks, and New York Giants. Most of the time it is full of misery. I have recently found a passion for writing about sports. I have posted a few articles for Last Word on Sports and I have now created my own website (the-sportstalk.com). You can check out my articles there and also follow the twitter account @_thesportstalk.