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Key StatsAlbert Pujols deserves to be the number one player taken off the board. Here are 10 reasons why.

  • For ten straight years he’s hit at least 30 home runs and driven in 100 runs.
  • He’s had nine seasons of 100 or more runs scored.
  • He has finished with a better walk rate than strikeout rate eight straight seasons.
  • His slugging percentage has been over .600 seven times.
  • He has been intentionally walked more than 20 times in six consecutive seasons.
  • He has led the league in runs scored five times.
  • During his career, Pujols has led the Majors in four out of the five major five by five categories.
  • In the fifth category, steals, he’s averaged 12 per season over the last three seasons. More than any first baseman.
  • He’s missed 10 or more games twice in his career and never missed more than 20.
  • He has one year left before signing the biggest contract in baseball history (if he wants it).

Skeptics Say: He has a .231 career OPS against the Angels. What?

Peer Comparison: As indicated by the rankings below, he doesn’t compare to players of today.  Thanks to the research of fellow FBHS writer Kobash, we are going to compare him to nine players over the course of baseball history. Since Pujols has only played ten years, we are looking at the best ten year stretch of all of these players’ careers. Keep in mind, Pujols only has one ten year stretch to speak of, so he’s at a disadvantage.

Babe Ruth (1919-1928): 1394 Games/1347 Runs/1701 Hits/450 HR/1,291 RBI/.353 AVG/1.227 OPS Aggregate Total: 23

Lou Gerhig (1927-1936): 1538 Games/1417 Runs/2022 Hits/390 HR/1,527  RBI/.350 AVG/1.118 OPS Aggregate Total: 16

Joe DiMaggio (1936-1948): 1405 Games/1146 Runs/1,853 Hits/303 HR/1,277 RBI/.987 OPS Aggregate Total: 40

Mickey Mantle (1952-1961): 1436 Games/1183 Runs/1,609 Hits/361 HR/998 RBI/.311 AVG/1.017 OPS Aggregate Total: 41

Willie Mays (1956-1965): 1,547 Games/1,179 Runs/1,844 Hits/389 HR/1,074 RBI/.315 AVG/.983 OPS Aggregate Total: 39

Hank Aaron (1962-1971): 1,521 Games/1,072 Runs/1,766 Hits/386 HR/1,097 RBI/.308 AVG/.954 OPS Aggregate Total: 48

Barry Bonds (1995-2004): 1,435 Games/1,180 Runs/1,143 Hits/444 HR/1,083 RBI/.315 AVG/1.169 OPS Aggregate Total: 37

Alex Rodriguez (2001-2010) 1,513 Games/1,130 Runs/1,706 Hits/424 HR/1,236 RBI/.299 AVG/.971 OPS Aggregate Total: 43

Albert Pujols (2001 – 2010): 1,558 Games/1,186 Runs/1900 Hits/408 HR/1,230 RBI/.331 AVG/.1.056 OPS Aggregate Total: 22

The aggregate total is based on ranking the players one through nine (similar to a roto league except low score wins). Essentially what this means, is that Pujols is the second best fantasy baseball slugger of all-time. And he could close the gap on Gehrig if he blows up this year.

Lineup Outlook: There is a variety of potential in the Cardinals outfield. Matt Holliday is guaranteed production. Colby Rasmus is the x-factor. If he can get at-bats and respect from his teammates, he can be a great source of runs or RBI for Pujols. Lance Berkman’s production has fallen since the second half of 2008, so don’t expect that to change.

What They’re Saying: Yahoo: #1 Overall; CBS Sportsline: #1 First Baseman; Tristan Cockcroft of ESPN.com: #1 Overall; John Halpin of Fox Sports: #1 Overall; RotoChamp: #1 Overall; Charlie Saponara: #1 Overall; Fantasy Newsman: #1 First Baseman

Projection: Pujols would likely veto any possible deal, but don’t believe for a second that won’t stop a rumor or two from flying around this season.

114 R 44 HR 121 RBI 12 SB .328 AVG 1.103 OPS

7 Responses to Albert Pujols Player Projection No. 1

  1. Iceman says:

    Do you take Adam Dunn in the 3rd round in a 5×5 roto 10 team mixed keeper league?

    I’m in need of a power bat and tons of starting pitching, but at 1B i have Konerko and I can use VMart there as well. I’m hoping Fielder falls to me, but with who is available, I doubt he will.

    I’m thinking of using my late round picks to stock up on pitching that no one else might think of, but I have been behind on my research. I know there is a chance Johan Santana could pitch this year, but he’d be a pick more for next year. Same with guys like Wainwright and Strasburg. Is it wise to draft them at 14th, 16th, and 18th round money and stock em for next season? What is Strasburg’s return table looking like?

    • Mark says:

      In terms of Dunn, I have seen guys like Tristan Cockcroft rank Dunn in that area (late 3rd in a 10 tea league). I don’t feel the same way even with the move to a better park. Let’s remember he only spent two seasons in Washington. He hit in Arizona and Cincinnati which are two hitter friendly parks.Over the past five years he’s only finished in the top 50 once (35th). His ceiling isn’t great, so I would fish around for other needs. I like LaRoche, Huff, Gaby Sanchez, Ike Davis, and even newcomers like Freeman, Belt, and Kila for where you can get them and what they could bring.

      As far as taking on pitchers for 2012, I drafted both Johan and Strasburg in a league that has a very low innings requirement. I hardly ever rotate my bench among hitters, so I took really high ceiling pitchers with the hope that they get healthy this year. If innings are an issue and DL spots are, I’m not drafting any of those three until the 20th round. I always place my emphasis on winning in the present. It’s too much to sacrifice a DL slot for months at a time – especially in the case of Wainwright.

  2. Dave says:

    Mark (and new team) excellent work as always. Truly the standard by which all fantasy baseball sites should be judged. I have been an avid reader since (nearly) day one and continue to be. Very high quality content. Keep up the awesome work.

    • Mark says:

      Dave you were “the” reader in the early days. Always appreciate hearing from you and thanks for the kind words.

      Can’t wait for Opening Day and as a fan of the underdog and the newcomer, I can’t wait for the Royals up-and-comers to arrive.

  3. Once again Mark, great job on the offseason player profiles. Looking forward to what you bring in the 2011 season. Also looking forward to finishing ahead of you in the FB365 Roto League!

    Great new look, by the way.

    • Mark says:

      Thanks Charlie – it’s been fun to peak into your rankings along the way.

      Perhaps you misunderstood the concept of roto leagues though. Finishing with a lower score than me doesn’t mean you finish ahead of me. That’s golf you are thinking of.

  4. KOBEshigawa says:

    I have to say, that’s some gooooood research there.

    Excellent article, as always Marky.

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