The Angels looked dominant once again last night, beating the Toronto Blue Jays 8-2. Last night was most memorable for Albert Pujols as he crack the top 10 on the all-time HR list.
Angels DH slugger Albert Pujols continues to hit the ball with ease and with powerful force. The former St. Louis Cardinal hit his 584th career homer last night, moving him into 10th place on the all time list.
Passing former teammate Mark McGwire, Pujols is showing us that he can still swing with the best of them and likely will continue to do for many years to come. Playing the DH position helps, Pujols has to only focus on hits. He’s only played his original first base position a handful of times this season.
What’s significant in all this is Pujols is one of the only players to crack the top 15 in HR’s in the last 25 years who hasn’t been caught using PED’s. Ken Griffey Jr. being another great who was never caught using steroids.
Currently, Pujols is batting a .257 with 24 homers and 99 RBI’s, strong numbers for a 36 year-old supposedly in the twilight of his career. As a result, many will speculate just how he is doing this. Pujols has been accused of using PED’s throughout his career. However, he has never been found guilty of using steroids.
Is accusing Pujols of using PED’s fair? Not really, just because a player is putting up above average numbers for his age doesn’t mean he’s juicing. Pujols comes to work and trains with the young guns like Mike Trout, there’s competition and a sibling rivalry if you will with Trout.
Pujols ability to hit the long ball stems off a proper diet and training with Trout who’s 11 years younger. While people will always point towards juicing for Pujols, it’s only hear-say until he is actually found guilty.
Can Albert Pujols be a valuable hitter with the Angels until his contract is up?
We’ve talked about his contract hundreds of times, ESPN dubbed it the most ridiculous contract in baseball. However, think of where the Angels would be with those 24 homers and 99 RBI’s this season.
Because of Pujols and Trout the Angels aren’t a complete laughing stock. Most will chalk there season up to a series of injuries that cause the pitching staff to dwindle. The fact that this team still competes every night is remarkable.
Pujols’ contract will end following the 2021 season, a season in which he’ll make $30 million. He’ll be finishing up his 20th year in the majors, spending 10 with the Angels and Cardinals. Assuming injuries are minimal, Pujols should be able to maintain his current play until at least 2019. Following up those last few years with at least 50 RBI’s and 15 homers a season.
Still those numbers are nothing to laugh at for a guy approaching his forties. Pujols has a ways to go before catching Barry Bonds and the 10 greats ahead of him. He’s currently two runs behind Frank Robinson; then, he’ll need an additional 12 to catch Sammy Sosa at 609.