posted on Oct, 21 2004 @ 06:56 PM
Albert Pujols is not a five-tool player. One sledgehammer will do.
He's a machine. A 24-year-old machine at that. As the world marvels at Carlos Beltran's every move -- and Scott Boras salivates at every extra dollar
he'll command for Beltran because of it -- Pujols has matched every big hit (.436, six homers, 13 RBIs in the postseason). Just don't ask him to score
from first on a double.
But that's not his game. Want defense? You won't get the spectacular diving catches, but you'll get a guy who can -- and has -- played four different
positions in his career.
Want offense? Where do you start?
Beltran mania is at full boil, but Pujols has done this day in, day out for the past four years.
Pujols' career-low OPS is .955. Alex Rodriguez's career average OPS is .955. Wow. At Pujols' current pace -- a 40-homer average over his first four
major league seasons -- he'll break Hank Aaron's record before he turns 40.
His career average of .333 is nearly 50 points higher than Beltran's. He's only the third player in baseball history to amass more than 500 RBIs in
his first four seasons. The other two? Hall of Famers Ted Williams and Joe DiMaggio.
The Cardinals would not be one win away from their first World Series appearance in 17 years without Pujols. And they will get there because of him.
And the best part? The Yankees can't try to buy him on the free-agent market for another seven years.