Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Newsflash - Albert Pujols is only 29

Albert Pujols won his 3rd MVP award (unanimous) at the ripe old age of…29? Is there any question who the player of the decade is? We are watching one of the greatest hitters of all time and there’s a chance he’s just now entering his prime.

How many more MVP’s can this guy win? He’ll win at least one more, joining him with Barry Bonds as the only 4+ MVP winner. We can’t even compare him to anyone in the game right now – it’s all about seeing where he ranks with the legendary hitters.
Just peep his crazy stats. As a rookie, he finished 4th in the MVP voting (.329, 37 bombs, 130 RBI’s, 194 hits) – overshadowed of course by Barry Bonds’ murdering the record books. That just started the madness in his nine year career.

· Top 10 MVP finisher every year. Top 5 MVP finish in all but one years
· He’s the active leader in batting average (.331), slugging percentage (.628),on-base percentage (1.055)
· He’s led the majors in several categories at least once (home runs, batting average, on-base %, slugging %, hits, total bases, doubles, extra base hits, )
· 30 HR, 100 RBI’s in every season. He’s statiscally had a better career than Joe DiMaggio in 4 less seasons.
In the last 30 years, only Tony Gwynn and Ichiro can rival him as the best hitter in baseball and neither possessed his power. It's ridiculous what he's done in a short period of time.

I decided to look up the greatest Cardinal of them all, Stan Musial. It baffled me as a kid how I would hear how he’s the most underrated player in baseball history but looking at his stats, they are just looney. 3 MVP’s before 30. 24 All-Star Games, 3 World Series rings, seven batting titles, made his debut on my birthday in 1941, .331 career average, 3600+ hits, 475 home runs. 

Who knew that 60 years after his debut, a player would come along who dominated the game the same way. Not flashy but with machine-like productivity. By 2019, we could celebrate Pujols as one of the greatest players of all time and he might still be productive into the 2020’s.

All Hail King Albert. I can only pray this guy doesn't drop off in a new decade like my all-time favorite player Ken Griffey Jr. did.

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