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Albert Pujols leads the AL in HR, RBI, and OPS since May 15

Aug 2, 2012, 10:37 AM EDT

Los Angeles Angels Albert Pujols hits a two-run home run against Texas Rangers starting pitcher Yu Darvish in Arlington, Texas Reuters

I’ve written a few posts already about how Albert Pujols has bounced back from his brutal start with the Angels to resume being a great hitter, but after his latest homer binge–which includes two bombs against the Rangers last night–he’s now leading the American League in OPS dating back to May 15:

ALBERT PUJOLS       1.060
Mike Trout          1.043
David Ortiz         1.028
Miguel Cabrera      1.023
Robinson Cano       1.010
Jose Bautista       1.004

OK, so this post could just as easily be about how ridiculously great Mike Trout is, but let’s stick with the Pujols theme. (Sorry, Angels fans. You’ll have to just be happy with having both of them on the same team.)

In addition to leading the league in OPS since May 15–a span of 68 games–Pujols also leads the league in homers, RBIs, and slugging percentage and ranks fourth in batting average and on-base percentage. Kind of makes all that early speculation about whether he was suddenly washed-up seem pretty silly now, huh?

  1. mybrunoblog - Aug 2, 2012 at 10:41 AM

    Too bad the season started April 6th not May 15th.

    • thefalcon123 - Aug 2, 2012 at 11:03 AM

      Yeah, we that bad start, he still has a loser-ass 142 OPS+.

      Which, granted would be the lowest of his career. But, by any normal standards, he is officially havig a good season.

    • atlrod - Aug 2, 2012 at 11:12 AM

      Wait. WHAT?! Are you sure?!

    • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Aug 2, 2012 at 11:36 AM

      Don’t tell us…tell HIM!

    • kpow55 - Aug 2, 2012 at 12:33 PM

      I’ll take Pujols heating up when it counts as opposed to Hamilton imploding frown the stretch any day

      • canislupislupis - Aug 2, 2012 at 12:48 PM

        I keep forgetting that games in April don’t count.

      • mkd - Aug 2, 2012 at 1:50 PM

        Yes the games in April count, but the playoffs are in October.

    • cardslifer - Aug 2, 2012 at 10:09 PM

      Pujols
      $

  2. stex52 - Aug 2, 2012 at 10:49 AM

    A lot of the discussion also was not about whether he had any good stuff left in him, but whether he could maintain it for the next five years or even the course of a season.

    He definitely still has it for a six week period. The jury will take a while to come in on the rest of that discussion.

    • stex52 - Aug 2, 2012 at 11:14 AM

      No misinterpretation. I like Pujols. No one doubted he is still capable of some great play. It was more about the bigger contract.

    • ezthinking - Aug 2, 2012 at 11:23 AM

      FYI – The story highlights 11 weeks, nearly half the season, not 6 weeks.

      • stex52 - Aug 2, 2012 at 11:29 AM

        OOPS!!! Saw May 15th. Read June 15th. Thanks for noting.

  3. okwhitefalcon - Aug 2, 2012 at 11:09 AM

    Who in their right mind thought he wouldn’t rebound from the slow start?

    He got around the league once, got comfy in his new surroundings while listening to how he’d all the sudden lost the ability hit.

    Albert plays very well when challenged and even better when he’s pissed.

  4. thefalcon123 - Aug 2, 2012 at 11:11 AM

    Josh Hamilton and Albert just switched places. If only they could be merged.

    Josh Pujols (first two months of Josh Hamilton, last two months of Albert Pujols)

    74 Runs, 129 Hits, 27 2B, 33 HR, 96 RBI, .348/.415/.687

    Albert Hamilton (first two months Pujols, last two months Hamilton

    44 Runs, 85 Hits, 18 2B, 16 HR, 55 RBI, .224/.289/.404

    • stex52 - Aug 2, 2012 at 11:15 AM

      That’s a fun statistic. I think it speaks to the difficulty of playing baseball at the MLB level.

    • stlouis1baseball - Aug 2, 2012 at 11:29 AM

      Great stuff Falcon!

    • natslady - Aug 2, 2012 at 11:42 AM

      .373/.432/.632 McCutchen ==> better’n Hamilton and Pujols combined. Now, that’s amazing.

      • stex52 - Aug 2, 2012 at 12:01 PM

        Wow. Maybe baseball is easy after all. :-)

      • bbil2012 - Aug 2, 2012 at 6:34 PM

        Right on lady.

    • Jeremy Fox - Aug 2, 2012 at 2:18 PM

      Yeah, the scouting report on Albert Hamilton has always been that he has a bit of pop, but nothing else.

  5. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Aug 2, 2012 at 11:42 AM

    It really illustrates how much more attention numbers get during the first few weeks of the season. Pujols stunk for about 5 weeks and there were all manner of articles about him being a bum, being washed up, can’t handle the AL, can’t handle switching teams etc. Hamilton had an awesome first few weeks, but has been bad for over two months now (worse than Albert was at the beginning) and people are only now starting to notice.

    I would imagine that most great players in the midst of great seasons have stretches like Pujols had to open the year. If they happen any time from May through August, they probably go mostly unnoticed.

  6. djpostl - Aug 2, 2012 at 12:17 PM

    Good season. Still a horrific contract & nowhere near worth .300/30/100 (where he’ll end up). And that’s AFTER going on a tear. What happens three years from now when he can’t improve & starts to get hurt lol. 5+ years of “wtf were we thinking” I guess.

    • apbestever - Aug 2, 2012 at 12:44 PM

      Lol another person worried about a billionaires funds lol
      Angels have a tv deal that essentially pays there payroll. Don’t worry about how good or bad the contract is. That’s for the money men to worry about. Let’s just appreciate greatness while we have it in front of our eyes. Didn’t see a person complain when Albert has the best 11 years ever while never even being in the top 20 in pay for any given year. So please save the money talk, let’s talk baseball.

      • thefalcon123 - Aug 2, 2012 at 1:02 PM

        I think the concern has less to do with their finances and whether or not they’re willing to bench a $25 million player who can no longer produce.

      • apbestever - Aug 2, 2012 at 1:19 PM

        But let’s cross that bridge when we get there?? I mean what’s the point of think omg what’s gonna happen when we bench pujols at 25m a year. It happens! Think Vernon wells, Angels are benching him he makes good money. All I’m saying is, who cares what they make it doesn’t affect us. If its a small market team ok. But nobody is worried about money in LA. There’s also a DH which better serves a contract like this. Once u start talking money it’s a slippery slope. Because it comes off as just hate, because of arte Moreno gave em the contract arte Moreno should be worrying about that contract not us.

    • SmackSaw - Aug 2, 2012 at 12:55 PM

      Too bad you spent all that money. Oh wait! You didn’t. Why do people care how much a player makes? Judge Judy makes $49 million a year. Do you know why you don’t care about how much she makes? It’s not your money.

      • thefalcon123 - Aug 2, 2012 at 1:09 PM

        Because entertainment is not run the same way as sports.

        We can very easily see where baseball money is going (at least in terms of players), so we can easily judge on its investment and the return on that investment in terms of production. On the other hand, I can’t tell you the return on investment of the Big Bang Theory compared to Community.

      • ezthinking - Aug 2, 2012 at 2:44 PM

        Falcon, that is the most deranged comment ever made. Sports are not entertainment? What are they then? Why do people go? Actors make $20+ MILLION a year. Oprah was clearing $50 mil. That’s all entertainment. So is baseball.

        Get a clue dude.

      • thefalcon123 - Aug 2, 2012 at 3:13 PM

        “Falcon, that is the most deranged comment ever made. Sports are not entertainment? What are they then? Why do people go? Actors make $20+ MILLION a year. Oprah was clearing $50 mil. That’s all entertainment. So is baseball”

        I’m glad your take away from my statement about the cost/production relation in baseball was harping on my differentiating between sports and non-sports entertainment. It’s good to know my taking the time carefully explain the difference in investment returns wasn’t a complete waste of time, as your too much a thicked-headed shit for brains to do anything beside ignore it and throw out weak insults.

  7. ch0psuey - Aug 2, 2012 at 12:38 PM

    Albert being Albert.

  8. papacrick - Aug 2, 2012 at 12:47 PM

    Yet they still havent written an article on Cabrera’s brilliance who has been consistently great all season and should be an MVP front runner. Instead we will see 50 more articles about Hamilton being the best hitter ever and Trout’s hall of fame career (rolls eyes)

    • thefalcon123 - Aug 2, 2012 at 1:04 PM

      Because Cabrera being awesome is nothing new.

      See, Hamilton was amazingly awesome…awesomer than he’d ever been= News!
      Now, Hamilton is terrible= News!
      Young 20 year old having great year= News!
      Pujols had a historically bad start= News!
      Pujols now back to being Pujols= News!

      Miguel Cabrera doing that some old “I’m Really Awesome At Baseball” routine= Not news.

      • stex52 - Aug 2, 2012 at 1:18 PM

        Possible explanation: Every story needs a basic, simple narrative that everyone can latch onto. The Cabrera narrative for this year was “Oh my God, you’re going to have an infield with him and Prince Fielder??” That narrative overrides any good stuff you could say.

        And I should note that Baseball Ref has his dWAR to date as 0.1. Which really isn’t that terrible.

        But so it is with narratives.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Aug 2, 2012 at 7:19 PM

      who has been consistently great all season and should be an MVP front runner

      Only if Trout breaks a leg and Cano declines, but Cabrera is clearly #3 behind those two.

  9. paperlions - Aug 2, 2012 at 1:19 PM

    Aaron, who in the NL has been better than Pujols since May 15th? I can think of at least one guy.

    • paperlions - Aug 2, 2012 at 2:17 PM

      Holliday

      April .654
      May 1.007
      June .983
      July 1.130
      August 3.050

      Pujols

      April .570
      May .800
      June .977
      July 1.071
      August 1.667

      • stex52 - Aug 2, 2012 at 2:31 PM

        Gosh, wouldn’t it be cool if he kept that 3.05 going for the whole month? I’d tune in for that.

      • paperlions - Aug 2, 2012 at 2:46 PM

        Yes it would…all he’d have to do is hit 60 HRs and bat .750

      • stex52 - Aug 2, 2012 at 3:21 PM

        Well, Hell. For a minute there I thought it was going to be hard.

      • paperlions - Aug 2, 2012 at 4:19 PM

        Well, he would have to never make an out, and then average slightly more than 2 bases per AB….see….easy.

      • stex52 - Aug 2, 2012 at 3:26 PM

        “That’s what she said.” After re-reading my post I decided to go ahead and blog this before someone else did.

  10. georgebrett - Aug 2, 2012 at 3:46 PM

    6 weeks and he’s the best hitter in baseball?

  11. dawglb - Aug 2, 2012 at 4:11 PM

    It all goes back to that day off they gave him, and most of the posts made fun of giving him a day off (as if that was going to help him).

  12. stew48 - Aug 2, 2012 at 8:13 PM

    Ok already. I didn’t start following baseball until 1943. So, what is OPS? I have looked and watched and waited, but no explanation. To complete my knowledge, please explain. And, no, I am not an idiot, but a couple of comments here cast a question about some.

    • maximus929 - Aug 2, 2012 at 8:52 PM

      OPS is “On Base Percentage PLUS Slugging Percentage”…

      And Google is a search engine and I’m reasonably sure it would tell you and I know ESPN’s stats page for a player lists a glossary for each stat given.

  13. maximus929 - Aug 2, 2012 at 8:50 PM

    Should have gone with the Trout angle. Trout is 20 years old!!! Not sure I’ve ever seen anything like it. I’ve been watching baseball for 40 years and in that time I can’t remember someone doing what he’s doing at that age.

    He’s a legit MVP candidate at age 20.

    Well now that Pujols is clearly back, he is too… but just not at age 20… :)

  14. stew48 - Aug 3, 2012 at 8:17 AM

    Thank you max.

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