Albert Pujols reaching for numbers that put him in elite company.
By David Rice
We all know that Albert Pujols is a special player, despite his declining production over the past few seasons. However, Pujols is inching closer to joining a group with only one other member.
Last season Angel fans watched Albert Pujols reach 600 home runs. This year we will watch Pujols” chase for 3,000 hits. However, what most fans don’t know is that Albert Pujols is approaching a special set of numbers that is even more extraordinary and much more rare as only baseball legend and Hall of Famer Hank Aaron is the only person to do so at this point.
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So you may ask what is the criteria for joking this super-elite group. First is having a career batting average of over .300 which Pujols meets despite a decline in his average the past five years is still hitting .305. The second criteria is hitting at least 600 home runs which we already know Pujols has done. Stealing at least 100 bases which Pujols reached a couple of seasons ago and now sits at 110 in his career. Another milestone is the aforementioned 3,000 hits which Pujols sits at 2,970 and will achieve this soon.
In addition 2,000 RBIs which Pujols should also reach in 2018 as he sits 81 short of that mark with 1,919. The last of the criteria is scoring 2,000 runs which may be the most difficult criteria and one that Pujols will have to wait a few seasons to achieve and might not ever reach as he sits at 1,724 runs scored and is averaging 72 runs scored per season since arriving in Anaheim. This would mean Pujols could potentially reach this in four seasons which would be at the end of his 10-year contract with the Angels.
This may seem not to be a likely possibility, but if Pujols does achieve this milestone as well it would be the icing on the cake to his career other than winning at least one more World Series ring. The latter is probably much more important to Pujols than individual stats.
However the thought of a career with these kind of numbers make Albert Pujols career that much more impressive. It may be hard for most Angel fans to focus on these individual accomplishments for Pujols as many have questioned the signing over the past six years of his decline numbers. What have you done for me lately Albert?
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The one constant that Albert Pujols has done for the Angels since arriving in Anaheim is driving in runs. Pujols has averaged 98 RBIs per season since arriving in 2012. However, he has only hit 28 home runs per season which is still good, but not what he was used to doing in St. Louis.
You can say all you want about Albert Pujols’ diminishing skills, but he will and should go down as one of the greatest players to ever to play Major League Baseball. Reaching these milestones will just cement it more.
But what makes Albert Pujols even more special is that he is a good person. The times I have had the privilege to talk to him Pujols has been a class act and has treated me with the upmost respect. He has definitely been a great role model for kids over the years and I expect that to hold true until the end of his playing days and beyond.
Next: Albert Pujols off to a good start in 2018
So let’s all sit back and enjoy Albert Pujols chase history again knowing that we are watching greatness in the man know as the “Machine”.