Albert Pujols: 3 Reasons Pujols Is Ready to Win 2012 AL MVP

Steven MarinoContributor IIIMarch 27, 2012

Albert Pujols: 3 Reasons Pujols Is Ready to Win 2012 AL MVP

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    Albert Pujols made the most noise this past offseason, when the first baseman signed a $254 million contract with the Los Angeles Angels.

    Pujols left the St. Louis Cardinals after winning two World Series championships with his former team.

    Pujols enters the American League with the possibility of playing as the designated hitter, thus affording his body more rest from the everyday wear and tear.

    With Pujols entering his first season with his new team and league, here are three reasons why Albert Pujols will win the AL MVP.

Confidence

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    Last season, Pujols boasted a .299 batting average with 99 runs batted in.

    Pujols has thus far had a productive spring training, batting .333 through 15 games, and leading the team with four home runs.

    With Pujols entering the 2012 season with his second World Series ring, a larger bank account, and an explosive spring training, Pujols is full of the confidence that the Angels were hoping for. 

Designated Hitter

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    Albert Pujols has won three MVPs, as well as six Silver Slugger Awards, which is awarded annually to the best offensive player at each position.

    Playing in the American League, managers have the advantage of replacing the pitcher in the starting lineup with a designated hitter.

    Pujols is 32 years old and, later on in his career, the DH position will benefit him greatly.

    Although Pujols is still young and agile enough to be an everyday first baseman, the DH position can bode well for the silver slugger.

Lineup

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    Being on the Angels, Erick Aybar, Bobby Abreu and Vernon Wells are potential candidates to bat ahead of Pujols.

    Pujols will either bat third or cleanup in the lineup.  Either way, leadoff man Erick Aybar posted a .279 batting average last season, with a .322 on-base percentage.

    Last season with the Cardinals, Pujols had either Ryan Theriot or Rafael Furcal ahead of him at leadoff. Theriot and Furcal both posted lower batting averages and on-base percentages than Aybar.

    Another factor of having Aybar as his leadoff man is his ability to steal bases. Aybar stole 30 bases last season, while Theriot only stole four, and Furcal nine.

    With Aybar's ability to get into scoring position, Pujols will have many chances to punch in more runs for the Angels this season, which could lead to Pujols earning his fourth MVP.