When most people talk about the most feared hitters in major league baseball, a lot of names come up. Alex Rodriguez, Ken Griffey Jr, Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, and many others. But there is one name that even generals managers fear. Because when the St. Louis Cardinals come up to bat, and the announcer calls out, "And here comes.......Pujols!!!!!", they quiver in fear and hope for the best.
There is not one hitter more dangerous or exciting in Major League Baseball than Albert Pujols. Even the elite hitters have a weakness. A-Rod and Ryan Howard hit a lot of homers, but they strike out a lot too. Albert Pujols is different. He doesn't have a weakness. There isn't a certain pitch you can throw out of the zone that he'll always chase. There isn't a certain corner of the strike zone he can't cover. Albert can take any pitch, in any spot, and drive it over the wall. If you can honestly say you struck out Albert Pujols, you are one of the lucky few.
And it's not just that he's powerful. It's not just that he can send the ball to any place on the field. It's that he can do it not matter what. It doesn't matter if it's the top of the first or the bottom of the 9th with two outs. Albert Pujols will do the unthinkable in the most clutch situations. Just when you think you have the game locked down, he'll drive one over the wall. He is one of the most clutch hitters in MLB history, and not many have ever been more so.
Albert Pujols is the only player in Cardinals history with at least 20 homers in his first 2 seasons, and he's the only player in MLB history with at least 30 homers in his first 7 seasons. He's been very good for a long time, and there is absolutely no reason why that shouldn't continue. Albert Pujols will be a feared name for many years to come. Pitchers don't even want to mess with him. If there's a base open to put him on, they'll do it. They don't want to see anymore of his late inning heroics. Just look here, at this 2008 season. In a 14 inning game against the New York Mets, he went 5-8 with 3 RBI's and 3 runs scored. In the top of the 14th inning, Skip Schumaker singled to left field. Then, later in the inning, Albert Pujols sent a towering shot over the wall in left center field. It was the game winning home run. But no one was surprised. It wasn't like this was something new for Albert.
And now there's even more chances for him to be great. Pitchers used to be able to just walk him and not have to deal with his power. Not anymore. Since the Cardinals have added the powerful swings of Ryan Ludwick, Rick Ankiel, and Troy Glaus, they can't just pitch around him. They have to go right at him and hope for a miracle. And while they might get lucky occasionally, Albert will always come back for more. He's the fifth youngest player to ever reach 300 home runs, and he's not done yet. He's a living legend among other players, and even among coaches. He'll wind up in Cooperstown when he's done, but for now, he's still hitting home runs and working his magic in the great venue that is Busch Stadium. So never fear fellow Cardinals fans. There'll still be plenty of high flying home run action as long as Albert Pujols is around.