Albert Pujols for NL MVP

August 7, 2008 at 9:24 am 4 comments

(AP Photo/Kyle Ericson)

In a year when there are so many great stories (Josh Hamilton, Tampa Bay Rays, Ryan Ludwick, Fernando Tatis…) we have seemed to neglect the player that is Albert Pujols because he seems to have a great year every year. The only difference is that this might be his most valuable year to date.

If you remember back to the beginning of March there was talk about the possibility of Pujols needing surgery on his elbow. His elbow had a tear in it. A tear! Here is what the doctor said about his elbow:

Team physician Dr. George Paletta provided details of Pujols’ injury for the first time last week (first week in March), disclosing that the superstar has a high-grade tear of the ulnar collateral ligament along with bone spurs, inflammation and arthritis in the joint. At some point, Paletta said, surgery that would sideline Pujols for an estimated eight months may be required.

That is seroius. He could’ve been out for the year but he opted to play through the pain. Many people thought he should just sit out the year because the Cardinals won’t contend but they could be serious contenders in 2009 when they have money to spend and a healthy Chris Carpenter. I was one of those people who thought the Cards had no chance with the improved and healthy Cubs and Brewers in the same division. I was wrong.

The Cardinals currently sit 5.5 games behind the Cubs in the NL Central and only .5 games behind the Brewers for the Wild Card. The Cards have Albert Pujols to thank for that.

In 361 at-bats Pujols is 2nd in the league in AVG (.352), 2nd in OBP (.461), 2nd in SLUG (.618), 1st in OPS (1.078), 3rd in BB (74), 1st in RunsCreated (99.9), 1st in RC/27 outs (10.87), and 1st in BB/K rate (2.00). He also boasts 23 homers, 73 RBI, 68 runs, 6 steals, and he sports a Gold Glove on his left hand.

He may not be leading the league in the categories that the voters love (RBI, Runs, HR) but that doesn’t matter. The MVP is the Most-Valuable-Player. He has been that with his offensive numbers, his defensive numbers, and his presence.

Pujols gives the Cards every chance to win when he is in the lineup. He rarley makes mistakes (only 3 errors, 1 caught stealing, 7 ground into double plays), he gets on base almost 50% of the time, and he rarely strikes out (only 37 strikeouts in 445 plate appearances). His BB/K rate is 2/1. The closest to him is Brian Giles at 1.39/1. That is Bonds-esque.

If it wasn’t for Pujols putting team first and self last this Cards team might be at the bottom of the division. But becuase he does that very thing this Cards team is a playoff contender and he has made those around him much better players.

-Jonathan C. Mitchell

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4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. antone  |  August 8, 2008 at 4:10 am

    I agree with this 100%. I actually put together my own ranking system and Pujols comes out as the NL’s top batter, which is no surprise.

    You can check it out here:

  • 2. Aaron Boynton  |  August 9, 2008 at 5:25 pm

    ehh, i don’t think he is even the most valuable player on his own team this year. Ryan Ludwick takes that honor.

    Honestly, if the Dodgers make the playoffs, they might as well just give Manny the MVP.

  • 3. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  August 9, 2008 at 9:14 pm

    No way Ludwick takes that honor. Not as valuable as a hitter or a fielder.

  • 4. Erik  |  August 10, 2008 at 1:51 am

    No way in hell Ryan Ludwick has been more valuable than Albert Pujols. You need stop looking at just RBI and HR, Aaron.


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