With the 2008 National League Most Valuable Player, Roberto Clemente, and Silver Slugger Awards already shining brightly inside Albert Pujols' trophy case, the slugger added yet another accolade on Monday.
Albert Pujols was named the 2008 Hitter of the Year in MLB.com's annual This Year in Baseball Awards. This was his second title since his 2003 as he beat out nine other contenders, including the American League MVP, Dustin Pedroia.
Claiming a total of 19 percent of the votes by the fans, Pujols also beat out Justin Morneau, Ryan Howard, Chipper Jones, Manny Ramirez, Ryan Braun, Mark Teixeira, and Josh Hamilton. An impressive list to be on the top of to say the least.
The award was the first one obtained by a National League player since he won it in 2003. The past winners were all from the American League which included Alex Rodriguez in 2007, Derek Jeter in 2006, and David Ortiz in 2005 and 2004.
The Redbirds' slugger's numbers couldn't be denied this year as he put up an impressive .357 batting average, .462 on-base percentage, and a .653 slugging percentage.
As the Cardinals continue to play it cool in the free-agent market this offseason, Pujols is still red hot in the eyes of the fans and sports writers alike. Being named the MLB Player of the Year by the Sporting News, the MLB Players Association, as well as the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, Pujols had nearly every award except a world championship in 2008. He was also named the N.L. MVP in Baseball Prospectus' Internet Baseball Awards.
Nearly obtaining every offensive award available, Pujols certainly considered 2008 to be his finest season.
"I would say this year was [my] best because of the consistency that I had from Day One, all the way to the end of the season," Pujols said recently. "I was really patient at the plate."
If patience is a virtue, Albert Pujols is probably one of the most virtuous men on the planet. He approaches each pitch with a calm, collective coolness exuded much like the Cardinals' front office this off-season.
With the recent signing of former Padres shortstop Khalil Greene, Pujols should look forward to yet another great defensive performance in 2009. With Greene's keen defensive abilities, he promises to be on time and on target to first base.
As the awards pile up for Albert Pujols, Cardinals nation continues to keep a watchful eye on the news wires as St. Louis continues to search for another starting pitcher, as well as coveted closer Brian Fuentes.