Rumors of Los Angeles Angels 1B/DH Albert Pujols demise have been greatly exaggerated. At least according to Albert Pujols. Despite what is unquestionably his worst season in the majors (fewest AB, fewest HR, lowest avg, it goes on), he can’t wait for next season to prove doubters wrong.
According to Enrique Rojas of ESPNDeportes.com, Albert feels like there is optimism to be had:
“As you grow older, you start worrying about bat speed,” he said. “My speed has been the same since 2001 up until now. This year, my bat speed was around 88 mph.
“I knew that I wouldn’t hit exactly the same like I did during the first 11 seasons in St. Louis. If I could bat .340 for 20 years, I would be something from another planet. But I train really hard, and I’m sure that I’ll keep on hitting.
The Angels thought he would continue that and have a significant investment in Pujols to say the least, like 8 more years and $212M. Keep in mind, Pujols has been in the league the same number of years as Ichiro Suzuki (since 2001), but broke in at 21 so one would think a number of years left. Productive years. he’s only 8 HR away from the 500 home run club, as a legit member with no ties to PEDs (other than some random claims by a now unemployed former player turned temporary radio commentator).
The physical ailments are of most concern. Sore this, tweaked that. But he plays through pain, 147 or more games in all his first 12 seasons until this one. So is this an anomaly or something to be more concerned about. I’m guessing with Albert, we haven’t seen the last of him.