Cards All-Time Top 40 – Albert Pujols #6

Cards All-Time Top 40 – Albert Pujols #6

The Top 40 countdown of the greatest St. Louis Cardinals of all time continues with their 2005 Most Valuable Player, first baseman Albert Pujols.

Jose Alberto Pujols

The Basics

Position

Bat

Thw

Total Yrs

Yrs in StL

HR

RBI

SB

Avg

First Base

Right

Right

2001-Present

2001-Present

250

758

36

.332

The Awards

Hall of Fame

Retired #

World Champ

All-Star

MVP

Cy Young

Gold Glove

 NA

 NA

1

5

2005

NA

1

Note: All stats and awards listed are for years as a Cardinal only.
Pujols' career stats available from baseball-reference.com.

Voter Comments

Rob Rains (8): The question isn't where Pujols belongs on the rankings now; the question is where he will be when his playing career is over. It would be an upset, and a disappointment based on everything he already has accomplished, if he doesn't finish as the second greatest Cardinal of all time behind only Stan Musial.

In his six seasons to date, Pujols has hit .314 or better each year and has averaged 42 home runs, 126 RBIs and 125 runs scored. No player in history has put up that caliber of numbers for the first six seasons of his career and Pujols also has won one MVP and a Gold Glove.

Most baseball observers believe Pujols has the best chance of any player in the game to either be the next .400 hitter, or more likely, win the Triple Crown.

Jerry Modene (4): Yes, only six seasons, but they're among the greatest first six seasons in major league history, right up there with the first six of Joe DiMaggio and Ted Williams. A comparison: Through six seasons, Pujols is at .332/.419/.629 (that's a 1.048 OPS!) with 250 HR and 758 RBI. He's got one MVP and a Rookie of the Year to his name and really should have three or four already.

Through his first six seasons, DiMaggio had 198 HR and 816 RBI – with a .345/.417/.605 line. Williams, in his first six years, had 197 HR and 752 RBI – with a line of .352/.485/.645. DiMaggio, of course, was a great defensive center fielder; Williams an indifferent defensive left fielder. DiMaggio had more speed than Pujols, although Albert surprisingly led the team in SB in 2005.

We are privileged to be watching the first real competition that Stan Musial has ever had for the title "Greatest Cardinal of All Time" but Albert – if he plays another, say, 12 seasons (‘til age 38) – could easily be up there with his 750 HR and 2250 RBI. Amazing.

Ray Mileur (9): The 2001 National League Rookie of the Year, Pujols became the first Major League player to hit 30 home runs in each of his first six seasons en-route to becoming the youngest player ever to hit 250 home runs. He won three Silver Slugger Awards (2001, ‘03, ‘04), along the way.

A five-time All-Star, Pujols is widely-regarded as one of the best hitters in the game, hitting consistently for average and power. Last season he won his first of what should be many Gold Glove Awards for his defense at first base. Other awards already adorning his mantle include; the 2003 Hank Aaron Award, 2003 TSN Player of the Year, 2003 NLCS MVP and the 2005 National League MVP, was the 2005 St. Louis Baseman co-Man of the Year, Baseball America Major League Player of the Year and on and on.

All this and at the age of 27, Pujols is just now entering his prime. Stay tuned sports fans, there is much more to come from this great ballplayer. We are witnessing baseball history in the making.

Brian Walton (8): I don't plan to re-run the voting that generated this series of articles any time soon, but if Albert Pujols puts together another half-dozen years like the ones we just experienced, he just may force my hand. What a pleasure that would be!

As the invariable comparisons to Stan Musial in terms of greatness will only increase in subsequent years, let's hope the two's careers do not parallel each other in one aspect. After reaching the World Series four times in his first five seasons, winning three times, Musial played for 17 more years without ever returning.

There is no doubt we are approaching Albert Pujols' golden years. The main question is whether it will also be a stretch of consistent greatness for his ballclub. The amount of Pujols' personal success that drives team success may ultimately define the extent of his enduring legacy among the game's immortals.

While Pujols owns just one ring so far, Cardinals ownership provided him long term contract security (likely through 2011 at least) and has supplied a solid supporting core of players around him. So, another 17-year dry spell seems unthinkable.

Voter Comments Key: Voter (Individual Ranking); NR = Not Rated

Master List: To see our entire list of the greatest 40 Cardinals players of all-time as they are unveiled daily, click here.

© 2007 stlcardinals.scout.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed.

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