St Louis Cardinals logoSt Louis Cardinals

2011 Fantasy Projections, No. 1: St. Louis Cardinals' Albert Pujols Still on Top

ATLANTA - SEPTEMBER 09:  Albert Pujols #5 of the St. Louis Cardinals hits a solo homer in the fourth inning against the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field on September 9, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
Nick KappelAnalyst IIIJanuary 16, 2011

Our 2011 fantasy baseball projections will be released one-by-one until the top 100 players have been revealed. These rankings consider past achievements, current performance and expected future results based on standard 5×5 H2H settings.

Over the past 10 seasons, Albert Pujols has established himself as the most consistent player in baseball. His season averages (119 runs, 41 HRs, 123 RBI, eight steals, .331 batting average) are unreachable by most others’ standards.

His career lows (99 runs, 32 HRs, 103 RBI, .312 batting average) coupled with the fact that he’s never missed more than 19 games in a single season make him the safest pick on draft day.

There are, however, subtle signs that suggest some of his skills may be diminishing. For example, Pujols’ contact and zone contact rates have declined noticeably over the last three seasons:

 

Contact Rate

  • 2008: 90.1 percent
  • 2009: 86.6 percent
  • 2010: 85.4 percent

 

Zone Contact Rate

  • 2008: 95.8 percent
  • 2009: 94.4 percent
  • 2010: 90.6 percent

 

Despite these declines, Pujols is still well above the league averages of contact rate (80.7 percent) and zone contact rate (88.1 percent).

His hacks at pitches outside the strike zone are also trending in the wrong direction:

 

O-Swing Rate

  • 2008: 21.6 percent
  • 2009: 22.9 percent
  • 2010: 27.5 percent

 

While Pujols’ 2010 O-swing rate was on the good side of the league average (29.3 percent), it’s still worth mentioning. In fact, these numbers may be the simple result of a league-wide boost in the quality of pitching we’ve seen over the last couple years. Either way, Pujols is still only 31 and remains the top producer in fantasy baseball.

  

 PARHRRBISBAVG
2010 stats7001154211814.312
Three-year average6801134212312.331
2011 FBI Forecast7001204112510.315

 ORIGINAL ARTICLE: FANTASY BASEBALL INSIDERS

Previous articles from Fantasy Baseball Insiders:

 

Follow Fantasy Baseball Insiders on Facebook and Twitter.

Where can I comment?

Stay on your game

Latest news, insights, and forecasts on your teams across leagues.

Choose Teams
Get it on the App StoreGet it on Google Play

Real-time news for your teams right on your mobile device.

Download
Copyright © 2017 Bleacher Report, Inc. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. All Rights Reserved. BleacherReport.com is part of Bleacher Report – Turner Sports Network, part of the Turner Sports and Entertainment Network. Certain photos copyright © 2017 Getty Images. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of Getty Images is strictly prohibited. AdChoices