Pujols had an up-and-down nine-plus years with the Halos, and after he was released in May, he signed with the LA Dodgers.
Since then, Pujols has played solid baseball in Dodger blue. He isn’t playing like prime Pujols anymore, but he’s also seemed to benefit from playing with the new club. One stat in particular shows how Pujols is right in the middle of where he was with the Halos and his first team, the St. Louis Cardinals.
Albert Pujols is slugging better with the Dodgers than he was with the LA Angels.
That being said, he’s still not slugging like the superstar he used to be:
It’s a pretty eye-opening statistic.
The best slugging percentage Pujols posted with the Angels was in his first year in Anaheim. In that 2012 season, he slugged .516. It’s wild to think about how that slugging percentage was his career-low at the time.
The worst slugging percentage he had before that was .541, which he posted the year before he came to Anaheim.
Pujols is definitely playing better now that he’s with the Los Angeles Dodgers, as he’s obviously slugging .526, he’s hitting .263 (he hit .198 with the Halos), and he’s getting on-base 30% of the time (he only got on-base 25% of the time with the Angels).
That being said, that batting average still isn’t anywhere near prime Pujols’ .328 batting average he posted in his 11 years with the Cards, and a .300 on-base percentage is still pretty embarrassing.
His slugging percentage brings his OPS up to a quality .826, but his quality of at-bats are obviously down if he can only get on 30% of the time. That’s why his 16 RBI and six bombs so far in his 26 games with the Dodgers pops out.
Those are good numbers, but he’s doing very little other than hit for power. He hit home runs with the Angels this year too (five in 24 games). Hitting home runs doesn’t make up for not being the defensive player he once was, and not getting on base.
I’m not trying to take anything away from the Dodgers. It’s been a good signing for them so far. They’re a team that was hit by some injuries early, and wanted to add depth.
However, while it’s surprising that he is playing much better for the Dodgers, what playing time was he going to get on the Halos? Even if he performed like this with the Angels this year, we have a DH who’s about ten times better in Shohei Ohtani, and a first baseman who is far better as well in Jared Walsh.
It’s easy to ride the narrative that Pujols has been much better with the Dodgers than the Angels, but it’s also true that Pujols would ride the bench if he was still with our team.