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spurgeonryan said:

Pujols. He is a good all around player. Unlike, Griffey Jr. who was a Home run hitter only towards the end. I think he will push it out like a champ until the very end.

It will be interesting watching the rest of his career.

There are a few things that worry me about him from this past year:

  • His doubles were way down.  He only hit 29, which is the worst of his career.  He averages 41.4 and the last three seasons he hit 44, 45, and 39.
  • He also had the worst RBI total of his career.  I would usually ignore a stat like this, but it is odd considering how much protection he had in the lineup this year.  He had 99 last year.  He averages 120.8 and the last three seasons he hit 116, 135, and 118.  This was the best offense the Cards have had since 2008, so it is just odd.
  • His walks were way down.  He only had 61, which is the worst of his career.  He averages 88.6 and the last three seasons he had 104, 115, and 104.  Part of this is that his intentional walks were down quite a bit, but it does not explain all of the decrease.
  • He had the lowest batting average of his career at .299.  For his career he has hit .328, and the last three seasons were .357, .327, and .312.
  • His OBP was the worst of his career at .366.  Career is .420.  Last three seasons were .462, .443, and .414.
  • His slugging percentage was the worst of his career at .541.   Career is .617.  Last three seasons were .653, .658, and .596.  A big part of this is that he had the fewest extra base hits of his career (66 this year, averages 83.2, previous years 81, 93, 82).  
  • Of course, that means his OPS is the lowest of his career (OBP+SLG).
  • He grounded into the most double plays of his career.
  • His ground ball to fly ball ratio jumped to 0.82.  The previous three years were 0.68, 0.63, and 0.60.
This could just be that he was pressing this year because it was a contract year.  Or, it could be part of a larger trend.  It is true that his stats have declined every year since 2008.

Even with all of that, he is still one of the best hitters in the game.  Any team would be lucky to have him, and I do think he will have a pretty long slow decline.  (10 years is still nuts though)


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