Here are some of the milestones he was able to accomplish during his last days in St Louis.
Franchise legend Albert Pujols has signed a one-year contract with the St. Louis Cardinals. According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the transaction is worth $2.5 million. The deal will give Pujols, 42, a small retirement tour with the franchise that selected him and with whom he spent the first 11 years of his Hall of Fame career.
During a spring training game on Monday, Pujols was reintroduced to Cardinals fans, and he told the media that the 2022 season would be his finals in Major League Baseball.
Pujols hit .236 / .284 / .433 (91 OPS+) with 17 home runs and 50 RBIs in 296 plate appearances last season for the Angels and Dodgers combined. It was the last year of his 10-year contract signed with the Angels after the 2011 season. As you can see from the stat line, he’s still capable of hitting homers at a high rate, but that’s at pretty much the extent of its usefulness these days.
Looking at the Cardinals roster, Pujols could be a designated hitter in the pack, teaming up with Corey Dickerson, who swings left. Pujols hit .294/.336/.603 with 13 homers for 136 at bats against lefties last year, so that’s pretty logical for baseball in the field.
Pujols would earn three MVPs during his 11 seasons with the Cardinals, finishing second four times and earning two World Series rings. He led the league in WAR five times, runs five times, OPS three times, slugged three times, total bases four times, home runs twice and once in the following: hits, doubles, RBI, average, percentage basic.
There is, of course, also the sentimental factor here. Pujols was drafted by the Cardinals in 1999 (a 13th round pick, in one of the greatest heists of all time). He made his debut in 2001, winning Rookie of the Year, making the All-Star team and finishing fourth in NL MVP voting at age 21.
It was a Hall of Fame career crammed into 11 seasons. Only Stan Musial, Rogers Hornsby and Bob Gibson have racked up more WAR with the Cardinals. In the history of the famous franchise, Pujols also ranks third in runs, fifth in hits, second in total bases, second in doubles, second in homers (Musial really prevented a lot of firsts, either by the way), second for RBI, second in running and second in OPS.
Pujols, of course, made a few compilations during his 10 year absence. All told in his illustrious career, he now has 3,301 hits, 672 doubles, 679 home runs, 2,150 RBIs and 1,872 runs.
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- Here are some of the milestones he was able to accomplish during his final days in St. Louis.
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