When most people think about the season Albert Pujols has had for the Angels, they aren’t impressed. Sure, he has hit some milestones and broken some records, but his actual performance has been lackluster. However, Pujols has turned it on when it matters most.
Albert Pujols has been a hot topic of conversation ever since the Angels signed him. While he has undoubtedly left his best years in St. Louis, he has still be an underrated player amongst the MLB.
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For most of this season, Pujols has been a lackluster hitter. Nonetheless, Pujols is leading the Halos towards a Wild Card berth, and he isn’t slowing down.
Over the past month, Albert Pujols has been the best everyday batter for the Angels. He has been hitting .323 and driven in a ridiculous 24 RBI’s. His home runs haven’t been overwhelming, with four in this stretch to go along with three doubles. Ever since the Angels added Justin Upton and Brandon Phillips to the lineup in front of Pujols, he has been driving in runners at a ridiculous rate.
Pujols also grades out as one of the most clutch players in the MLB. While he does ground into double plays more often than the regular MLB player (he is the all-time leader in the stat), he has also come up big late in games. Outside of The Machine, Kole Calhoun is the only other Angel with a Top 15 clutch rating.
While Pujols has been the Halos best hitter, he is still very limited. Pujols is one of (if not the most) the worst baserunners in the league. Age and injuries have certainly taken their toll on the certain Hall of Famer, with Pujols rarely running faster than a jog.
If the Halos (miraculously) make the World Series, Pujols will only become more restricted. He is a defensive liability at this point in his career, and playing him against a National League team would be a risky move for Mike Scioscia and Co.
The Angels could very well be sent home before the playoffs even begin. However, if they make it, they’ll have the veteran leadership of The Machine at their disposal.