Albert Pujols Is Maybe Good?
Okay first off, I know Pujols is only hitting .239 this year. However, he went 0-6 in the first two games of the season. If we take those two games out he is hitting .275. Call it unfair if you must, but Pujols has turned things around after a slow start.
While his slugging percentage has dropped despite hitting a ball out of the stadium this weekend, compared to the rest of his time as an Angel, Pujols has still found ways to contribute for this team in the batter’s box. A large part of that has been his ability to draw walks, which he already has seven of this season.
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For comparison’s sake, he didn’t get his seventh free base until Game 40 last season on May 13th. He is walking at a higher rate this season, and it has been huge for this lineup.
Pujols is also absolutely mashing against left-handed starters, with a .313/.353./688 slash line against them. This makes him and Justin Bour a legitimate platoon duo once Shohei Ohtani returns to this lineup in the coming weeks. While both Pujols and Bour have done well at times this season, being able to have one start and the other to pinch hit will be a nice luxury for this team.
Lastly, Pujols has been clutch for this team so far in 2019. Per Baseball Reference, Pujols has upped his game dramatically in high leverage situations. While there haven’t been any grand slams or walk off home runs, Pujols does what I stated earlier.
He keeps the inning alive.
In 11 high leverage plate appearances, Pujols has three hits and three walks, good enough for a .545 on-base percentage. Obviously the sample size is small, but when Pujols has hitters like Upton, Ohtani, and Mike Trout around him, his game could be elevated even more.