03/31/2005: This is the year for Albert the Great....
according to Rex Duncan, writing at The Cardinals Birdhouse:
How much more can Cardinal fans say about Albert Pujols? Extensive research is probably already underway through the Linguistics and Foreign Language Department at CNU (Cardinal National University) to identify new superlatives in other languages to apply to Albert. Soon, indeed very soon, the rest of America will know how good we have it.Of course, the fact that Bonds looks to miss a big chunk o'the season certainly doesn't hurt Albert's MVP chances (most of the speculation says that Bonds claiming to contemplate retirement is probably Barry being a drama queen, and the oddsmakers are saying that Bonds will probably be back sooner than the half-season on the DL that the Giants' trainer was predicting). Rex continues:
Albert has done everything asked of him as a baseball player. He has achieved the highest of heights, yet he still plays second fiddle to the American Hate/Love/Hate relationship with Barry Bonds. This year that will change. American baseball fans in 2005 will fully recognize and appreciate Albert’s talents, celebrate his work ethic, and become thankful they were alive during the course of his career.
Albert Pujols is already statistically one of the game’s historical elite. He has rightly been compared with the greats of the game – Williams, DiMaggio, Cobb – dare I say - Musial.Dare away, Rex. If one goes to look at the relevant sections of Albert's stat card at Baseball Reference one sees this list of Albert's comparables (i.e., players he's most similar to) through his current age of 24:
- Joe DiMaggio
- Jimmie Foxx
- Ted Williams
- Vladimir Guerrero
- Frank Robinson
- Hal Trosky
- Hank Aaron
- Joe Medwick
- Orlando Cepeda
- Ken Griffey
21. Joe DiMaggioFinally, have a gander at Albert's Hall of Fame Metrics (follow the link for the explanations), and keep in mind that these are for a mere 4 years playing time; they can only go up from here):
22. Joe DiMaggio
23. Joe DiMaggio
24. Joe DiMaggio
Black Ink: Batting - 15 (146) (Average HOFer ~ 27)I've said it before, and I think it's a very safe bet: barring either a career ending injury early in his career, or a complete collapse (and for a player of Albert's caliber, that's simply NEVER happened in the history of the major leagues (that I'm aware of)), the boy will probably be a lock for Cooperstown.
Gray Ink: Batting - 86 (260) (Average HOFer ~ 144)
HOF Standards: Batting - 36.0 (180) (Average HOFer ~ 50)
HOF Monitor: Batting - 109.5 (127) (Likely HOFer > 100)
Len on 03.31.05 @ 08:59 AM CST