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Friday, June 7, 2013

FANTASY BASEBALL STATUS REPORT: ALBERT PUJOLS 1B LOS ANGELES ANGELS

Everybody gets old.  That would be the collective response to those who take a quick gander at the mediocre numbers put up this far by the Los Angeles' Angels' Albert Pujols who carried the following numbers into Wednesday night's action:

.244 9 HR 35 RBI 31 R 0 SB

This from a guy who for the better part of ten years was the consensus number 1 pick in all fantasy baseball drafts.  Unfortunately father time appears to be doing its thing on Pujols' overall game and the declines since signing his monstrous contract with the Angels, the decline has picked up its pace.

Looking a bit deeper into the numbers, the stat that immediately jumps out is the negative trend when it comes to Pujols' on-base percentage.  Let's take a look starting from Pujols' last blockbuster year in 2009.

2009:  .443
2010:  414
2011:  .366
2012:  .343
2013:  .313

Clearly Pujols is going in the wrong direction there as the holes in his swing get bigger and he becomes less patient due to not yielding the success he had back in his prime.

Now let's take a look at Pujols' batting average since 2009.

2009:  .327
2010:  .312
2011:  .299
2012:  285
2013:  .244

Same deal here as Pujols is not finding the holes with his swing like he used to, along with injuries impacting his approach as well.  And it is the injuries that many point to for the decline as Pujols has dealt with more than his share of nagging maladies that have primarily been concentrated in his elbow, knee, and foot area.  While only having one DL stint during the time period above, the health woes that Pujols has suffered from have taken their toll on his body and his strength.  Yet another clear decline has been seen in Pujols' power as we see below:

2009:  47 HR
2010:  42 H
2011:  37 HR
2012:  30 HR
2013:  9 HR

Obviously not good as the power is waning at a decent rate as Pujols is on pace for only 24 home runs this season.  At 33-years-old, this seems like a pretty rapid decline I would say.  Than again, and I am a big subscriber to this, many believe that Pujols is actually a bit older than his listed age.  It always struck me how Pujols looked older than the age on the back of his baseball card and he surely wouldn't be the first guy to come from the Dominican Republic to fudge his birth certificate.  That would surely explain the massive dropoff in stats we are seeing this season.

All in all, it is clear that Albert Pujols is a shell of his former first round self.  Whether it is injuries, age, or what have you, the results in 2013 have been ugly and the consensus is obvious that Pujols is no longer even a top tier fantasy baseball first baseman.  He could get hot like he did in the second half of last season to salvage things some but overall the signs are too obvious to ignore as far as Pujols entering the back end of his career.




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