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Does Albert Pujols Project To Be Major League Baseball's Best Hitter Ever?

David RushCorrespondent IFebruary 21, 2011

Does Albert Pujols Project To Be Major League Baseball's Best Hitter Ever?

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    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    St. Louis muscleman Albert Pujols has done a pretty good job of imprinting himself on Major League Baseball's collective consciousness these past several months as followers of the grand old game have been compelled to consider a radical change of venue for the stand-out Cardinal first baseman.  

    The numbers being bandied about are pretty heady, as Pujols, at least for now, seems intent on becoming the games highest paid player — something in the area of $25-30 million per year with the only possible harbinger being there are but a handful of clubs who could possibly consider crunching that number.   

Projecting Possible Zip Codes

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    You've got to figure Boston/Fenway, 02115, with Adrian Gonzales freshly minted, and Philadelphia, Citizens Bank Park, 19148, into Ryan Howard for long dollars, are out. 

    Here are some others that might open the vault:

    10451—Yankee Stadium: Mark Texiera may be intent on being buried in a Yankee uniform but that doesn't mean the Bomber Brass won't be drooling over the prospect of bringing the games biggest bat to New York.

    Would Pujols consider a $30 million dollar a year DH gig?

     

    90090—Dodger Stadium is actually the only ballpark in the majors with it's own zip code, but that enough won't keep putting fannies in the seats in 2011 as the team figures to struggle mightily to keep up with their pitching rich, arch rival up in San Francisco.

    By report, the team continues to be in a tall version of financial disarray under owner Frank McCourt who can't seem to legally separate himself once and for all from wife, Jaime, but even with that ongoing factor in play, one has to wonder how long the often prominent Dodgers can make due as an MLB afterthought.

    Pujols in L.A. would make the team the biggest story in baseball if not a perennial contender for postseason duty. Plus he'd be playing for 'Donnie Baseball,' former Yankee first baseman Don Mattingly, one of the games all time technicians.

    Would it be possible for Albert Pujols to improve on the mind boggling numbers he's put up over the past decade? Could he propel the Dodgers to World Series greatness?

    That's a Hollywood story in waiting if we ever heard one.

     

    92806—Angel Stadium: After a run of dominance in the AL West, the California Angels were beaten back by last years eventual AL Champion Texas Rangers. 2011 figures to bring more of the same and the Angels — who've been drawing well over three million So Cal die hards to the big ballpark these past five or six seasons — may very well find themselves in need of a top attraction, not to mention a major boost to their sagging offense, in 2012 and beyond.

     

    11368—Citi Field: If the Mets don't have a desperate need for Albert Pujols, no team in the Major Leagues does.

    The issue is whether or not the Wilpon's can get themselves out from under the ongoing Bernie Madoff mess — which appears unlikely — or if they might be able to change the mind of either Mayor Mike Bloomberg or TV Superstar Jerry Seinfeld, both noted Met fans, and get either to throw in for a cash infusing stake in the team.

     

    94101—AT&T Park: The rest of Major League Baseball can only hope the pitching rich San Francisco Giants don't decide to open the purse-strings to Pujols.

    Did anyone say dynasty in the making?

     

    80205—Coors Field: We don't necessarily see Albert Pujols landing in Colorado, but taking sixty seconds to contemplate his potential production in the Mile High environment is certainly worth the price of admission.

     

    60613—Wrigleyville: This landing spot probably makes the most sense for both sides. The Cubs have $40 million or more coming off the books at seasons end, have a need for a marquee presence, and the thought of Pujols in Wrigley is almost too good to be true if the accumulation of mind boggling offensive numbers happens to be your favored criteria for MLB fanaticism.

     

     

     

10 Years In The Books, What Can Pujols Do For an Encore?

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    Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

     

     

    It doesn't get any easier when it comes to projecting seasonal output as Big Albert Pujols' career neatly breaks down over a 10-season span. 

    Almost all the numbers jump out at you, here's a summary representation:

     

     

     

     

    Games     AB      Runs      Hits     Doubles      HR      RBI     Walks     OB%      Slugging% 

    158         573       119        190        43            40       123       91        .426          .624

     

    That's a pretty impressive compilation by any stretch, and as Pujols just turned 31 in January and looks to be the picture of strapping health, one can envision a great deal of productive baseball in his future.  

    The two-fold question is, how long and how productive?

    Our most realistic estimate in terms of time frame, if Pujols really wants to chase all time numbers, is eight years.

    As far as productivity we're going to say in a walk year Pujols' numbers will be up 10 percent. 

    First two years in new city, up 10 percent.

    Years four, five and six flat against what you see above.

    Years seven and eight down 10 percent against what you see above.

    Now that goes for any ballpark in baseball but Wrigley. (Forget about Coors, that projection would be out the roof.)

    Years two and three, up 20 percent.

    Years four, five and six up 10 percent.

    Years seven and eight, flat against what you see above.  

    In the slides that ensue we'll see where those numbers bring us as far as Albert Pujols' All Time standing in virtually every major offensive category. Below you'll find his up to date career numbers in full.   

    1558    Games

    5733    At Bats

    1186    Runs Scored

    1900    Hits

    426      Doubles

    15        Triples

    408      Home Runs

    1230     Runs Batted In

    75        Stolen Bases

    914       Walks

    646       Strikeouts

    .331      Batting Average

    .426      On Base Percentage

    .624      Slugging Percentage

    1.050    On Base & Slugging 

    3580     Total Bases

Base Hits

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    We'll dispense with a few of the more mundane categories and stick with the primary issues of putting the bat on the ball and run production. 

    All Stadiums 3,436   Rank No. 6

    Wrigley   3541          Rank No. 5

     

    Pujols Rank Amongst All Time Hit Leaders

    Rank Player (age) Hits Bats
    1. Pete Rose  4256 B
    2. Ty Cobb+  4189 L
    3. Hank Aaron+  3771 R
    4. Stan Musial+  3630 L
    5. Tris Speaker+  3514 L

Doubles

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    All Stadiums  770   Projected No. 2

    Wrigley     797        Projected No. 1

     

    Rank Player (age) Doubles Bats
    1. Tris Speaker+  792 L
    2. Pete Rose  746 B
    3. Stan Musial+  725 L
    4. Ty Cobb+  724 L
    5. Craig Biggio  668 R

Home Runs

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    We don't know where A-Rod will end up on this list or a variety of others. For now all we can do is project Pujols against the All-Time career totals that actually exist.

     

    All Stadiums   740       Projected No. 3

    Wrigley           766       Projected No. 1

     

    Rank Player (age) Home Runs Bats HR Log
    1. Barry Bonds  762 L HR Log
    2. Hank Aaron+  755 R HR Log
    3. Babe Ruth+  714 L HR Log
    4. Willie Mays+  660 R HR Log
    5. Ken Griffey (40) 630 L HR Log

Runs Scored

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    All Stadiums    2146   Projected No. 7

    Wrigley            2221   Projected No. 4

     

    Rank Player (age) Runs Scored Bats
    1. Rickey Henderson+  2295 R
    2. Ty Cobb+  2246 L
    3. Barry Bonds  2227 L
    4. Hank Aaron+  2174 R
      Babe Ruth+  2174 L
    6. Pete Rose  2165 B
    7. Willie Mays+  2062 R

Runs Batted In

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    All Stadiums     2,222     Projected Rank No. 2

    Wrigley             2,300     Projected Rank No. 1

     

    Rank Player (age) Runs Batted In Bats
    1. Hank Aaron+  2297 R
    2. Babe Ruth+  2213 L
    3. Cap Anson+  2075 R
    4. Barry Bonds  1996 L
    5. Lou Gehrig+  1995 L

Batting Average

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    Pujols' current lifetime .331 average is No. 29 on the all-time list.

    Rank Player (age) Batting Average Bats
    1. Ty Cobb+  .3664 L
    2. Rogers Hornsby+  .3585 R
    3. Shoeless Joe Jackson  .3558 L
    4. Lefty O'Doul  .3493 L
    5. Ed Delahanty+  .3458 R
    6. Tris Speaker+  .3447 L
    7. Billy Hamilton+  .3444 L
      Ted Williams+  .3444 L
    9. Dan Brouthers+  .3421 L
      Babe Ruth+  .3421 L
    11. Dave Orr  .3420 R
    12. Harry Heilmann+  .3416 R
    13. Pete Browning  .3415 R
    14. Willie Keeler+  .3413 L
    15. Bill Terry+  .3412 L
    16. George Sisler+  .3402 L
    17. Lou Gehrig+  .3401 L
    18. Jesse Burkett+  .3382 L
      Tony Gwynn+  .3382 L
    20. Nap Lajoie+  .3381 R
    21. Jake Stenzel  .3378 R
    22. Riggs Stephenson  .3361 R
    23. Al Simmons+  .3342 R
    24. Cap Anson+  .3341 R
    25. John McGraw+  .3336 L
    26. Eddie Collins+  .3332 L
      Paul Waner+  .3332 L
    28. Mike Donlin  .3326

On Base Percentage

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    Pujols is currently No. 11 All Time amongst on base leaders.

     

    Ted Williams .482 (.4817) 1
    Babe Ruth .474 (.4739) 2
    John McGraw .465 (.4655) 3
    Billy Hamilton .455 (.4552) 4
    Lou Gehrig .447 (.4474) 5
    Barry Bonds .444 (.4443) 6
    Rogers Hornsby .434 (.4337) 7
    Ty Cobb .433 (.4330) 8
    Jimmie Foxx .428 (.4283) 9
    Tris Speaker .428 (.4279) 10
    Albert Pujols .426 (.4257) 11

Slugging Percentage

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    Pujols currently ranks No. 4 on All-Time Slugging Percentage list. 

     

    Babe Ruth .690 (.68972) 1
    Ted Williams .634 (.63379) 2
    Lou Gehrig .632 (.63242) 3
    Albert Pujols .624 (.62445) 4
    Jimmie Foxx .609 (.60929) 5
    Barry Bonds .607 (.60689) 6
    Hank Greenberg .605 (.60505) 7
    Mark McGwire .588 (.58817) 8
    Manny Ramirez .586 (.58648) 9
    Joe DiMaggio .579 (.57880) 10

Where Would You Rank Pujols On The All Time List Of Productive Bats?

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    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Now that you've gotten a look at the projected numbers, where would you rank Albert Pujols amongst the most productive bats and prolific run producers in the history of the game? 

    Below, in no particular order, you'll find an ultra impressive group to ponder. See how you might slim it down a bit — with Pujols included— and arrange a top 10 of your own.

    Ty Cobb

    Rogers Hornsby

    Ted Williams

    Babe Ruth

    Lou Gehrig

    Willie Mays

    Hank Aaron

    Barry Bonds

    Alex Rodriguez

    Ken Griffey Jr.

    Stan 'The Man' Musial

    Mickey Mantle

    Jimmy Foxx

    Hank Greenberg

    Joe DiMaggio

     

    That's it for today, 

    DR

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