MLB 2012: 5 Reasons Albert Pujols Will Be Better with Angels
The A.L. West
Lets be real, the A.L. West is not the best league in baseball.
Even though the Rangers have fielded a good team in the past couple of season, they are easily beatable. And since the Angels signed their best pitcher in C.J. Wilson, it leaves only a handful of quality pitchers left in the West to compete against.
Seattle still has Felix Hernandez and the Ranges signed Yu Darvish (who is unproven in the majors) and have Colby Lewis, but after that, the talent level drops off. The Mariners are starting their young, but good, pitchers; the A's will continue to struggle with their pitching since Gio Gonzalez left for Washington and the Rangers have Derek Holland, who is young, and Neftali Feliz, who is transitioning from reliever to starter this season.
Pujols will have a field-day with all the young and unproven pitchers in this league. Facing each team multiple times this year will help him hit his average numbers and probably surpass them.
No longer does Pujols have to play defense everyday to get his turn at bat.
Mike Scioscia and the Angels have the ability to put one of the best batters in the designated hitter spot. This enables Pujols to get some rest while still producing. This could lead to better production and a reduction in common, long season-type injuries.
Having a healthy Pujols is a dangerous Pujols.
He Won't Be the Center of Attention
During his time with the Cardinals, Pujols was followed around like a celebrity.
Now that he is in Southern California, he will not be followed as much.
Yes, ESPN and CBS Sports will continue to follow him around and find out if his cold will limit his ability to play in the game later that night, but the press will not stalk him as much.
They will have actors and actresses to follow. This will take some of the pressure off Pujols during his first year with the Angels, making him more relaxed.
Pujols will no longer be making his yearly trips to the Mile High City, where home runs fly out of the park, but he will now visit the ballparks in Arlington, Yankee Stadium and Rogers Centre, which are all power-hitters parks.
In terms of home runs per game, Arlington, Yankee Stadium and the Rogers Centre all had over 2.4 home runs hit per game last year.
The American League had six parks that all had over 2 home runs hit per game last year compared to only four for the National League.
Also, Busch Stadium had 1.6 home runs per game compared to Pujols' new place where, last year, averaged 1.62 home runs per game.
Looking at the stats for last year, the Angels had the speed.
They swiped a total of 135 bases to the Cardinals' 57. If the Angels use their speed in the top of the order, then that will provide more RBI chances when Pujols steps up to the plate.
Also, if you take away Pujols' stats from last year's Cardinals' team, then the Angels had more total hits as well as total bases. The more times that people get on base equals more scoring opportunities for Pujols.