Albert Pujols
Albert Pujols
39-Year-Old First Baseman1B
Los Angeles Angels
2019 Fantasy Outlook
Good news Angels fans: there’s only three years left on Pujols' contract! This is a sunk cost, so the real issue is Pujols really should leave his first baseman’s mitt at home but can’t since designated hitter is earmarked for Shohei Ohtani, at least against right-handed pitching. Skills-wise, Pujols remained steady compared to 2017, though he failed to play at least 143 games for the just the second time in his illustrious career. After offseason surgery to remove a bone spur from his right elbow, the hope is Pujols can eclipse last season’s 70 games in the field. At this stage, Pujols’ utility in mixed leagues is marginal as there isn’t much of a market for a part-time first baseman with average power and a low average. When healthy, Pujols could serve as an injury replacement at corner or utility. Read Past Outlooks
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$Agreed to a 10-year, $254 million deal with the Angels in December 2011.
Out of Sunday's lineup
1BLos Angeles Angels
April 21, 2019
Pujols is not in Sunday's lineup against the Mariners, Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times reports.
He has started five of the last seven games, going 4-for-17 (.235) with a home run over that stretch. Tommy La Stella gets the start at DH, hitting seventh.
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Batting Order Slot Breakdown
vs Right-Handed Pitchers
vs RHP
vs Left-Handed Pitchers
vs LHP
Left/Right Batting Splits
Since 2017
Since 2017vs Left .635 299 24 9 35 2 .214 .281 .354
Since 2017vs Right .708 912 87 36 141 2 .252 .295 .413
2019vs Left .614 24 1 1 2 0 .182 .250 .364
2019vs Right .860 53 7 2 9 0 .268 .396 .463
2018vs Left .674 124 15 6 15 0 .200 .274 .400
2018vs Right .708 374 35 13 49 1 .259 .294 .414
2017vs Left .608 151 8 2 18 2 .230 .291 .317
2017vs Right .692 485 45 21 83 1 .244 .285 .407
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Home/Away Batting Splits
Since 2017
OPS on Road
OPS at Home
OPS on Road
OPS on Road
Since 2017Home .684 609 57 25 88 2 .234 .282 .401
Since 2017Away .697 602 54 20 88 2 .251 .301 .396
2019Home .858 43 5 2 8 0 .257 .372 .486
2019Away .681 34 3 1 3 0 .214 .324 .357
2018Home .682 240 25 10 25 1 .235 .275 .407
2018Away .717 258 25 9 39 0 .255 .302 .414
2017Home .664 326 27 13 55 1 .231 .276 .388
2017Away .681 310 26 10 46 2 .252 .297 .385
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Stat Review
How does Albert Pujols compare to other hitters?
This section compares his stats with all batting seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 400 plate appearances). The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that stat and it would be considered average.
BB Rate
K Rate
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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Albert Pujols
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
As he enters his age-38 season, Pujols is a shell of his former self. His walk rate fell to a career-low 5.8 percent last season, leading to a nearly 40-point drop in on-base percentage. Meanwhile, his wRC+ fell 32 points to just 78 (100 is average), from his previous career low of 110 from 2016. Due to his lack of mobility, Pujols is now a GIDP machine with an inability to beat out balls in the infield (1.8 infield-hit percentage). Those physical limitations will likely keep his BABIP low -- he's ranged from .217 to .265 over the past five seasons. He still has some pop, although 23 long balls in a season in which a new MLB homer record was established is nothing to write home about. Making matters worse, Pujols is UTIL-only in most leagues (six appearances at first base), and may lose out to Shohei Ohtani on playing time at DH. Let someone else draft the name.
After having offseason surgery on his right foot, Pujols' availability for Opening Day was in question. Not only did the future Hall-of-Famer play the first 70 games of the 2016 campaign, he amassed at least 650 plate appearances for the seventh time in eight seasons. Along the way, Pujols fought through ankle and hamstring woes, along with more foot issues, costing him the final five games of the year. Playing in the field for only 28 games helped Pujols while giving him first base fantasy eligibility for another year, possibly his last before he joins the DH-only ranks. At the plate, Pujols had what's become a typical season: excellent contact rate and decent power with a batting average significantly down from his St. Louis years. He had surgery in December to address the plantar fascia in his foot, and may miss some spring training games as a result, but the hope is that he will be ready for Opening Day with the nagging ailment behind him. He's still a source of cheap homers and RBI, so long as Mike Trout hits in front of him.
In what may be considered one of the most inexplicable feats of last season, Pujols reached the 40-home run plateau for the first time since 2010. The 35-year-old dealt with what have become customary aches and pains along the way, but still played in 157 games. The wear and tear seemed to take a toll in the second half for the second consecutive season, however, as he tallied an OPS of just .707 with 14 homers after the All-Star break. While there's no arguing with the power, the batting average was a black mark, sinking to a career-low .244. A .217 batting average on balls in play is likely the major culprit, but it's worth noting that his line drive percentage fell to just under 16 percent, representing the second-lowest mark of his career. Pujols underwent foot surgery this winter and while he hasn't been ruled out for Opening Day, be wary of a perpetually ailing slugger who has shown a tendency to taper off after hot starts in recent years.
Pujols aimed to redeem himself in 2014 after missing most of the previous season due to plantar fasciitis, and started off that pursuit with a bang, tallying a .927 OPS with nine home runs in April. The 34-year-old's production vacillated for much of the rest of the season while he dealt with minor ailments, but he still finished the year with a 272/.324/.466 line, 28 home runs and 105 RBI. While the counting numbers bounced back somewhat, it was hardly a vintage season, as Pujols' walk rate reached a career-low 6.9% and he failed to tally a .200 ISO for the second consecutive year. Pujols said in November that he is optimistic about his prospects in 2015, as he will head into the season with a healthy right knee, which has not been at full strength since 2012. While it seems like a reach to expect more from Pujols in 2015, he could be a relatively cheap source of home runs and RBI once again.
Pujols came into the 2013 season looking to atone for what was his worst statistical season in 2012. Unfortunately for Pujols, the plantar fasciitis he has dealt with for most of career became much more problematic, as the former MVP told reporters he was "dying" as a result of the pain he was feeling in his foot in April. This pain likely resulted in Pujols once again having the worst statistical year of his career, as the first baseman's numbers showed a decline across the board, and he finished the year with 17 home runs and a 116 OPS+ before he was finally shut down for good in August. While Pujols' numbers on the year may be fine for most players, they simply won't do for King Albert, who has failed to produce after signing a 10-year, $254 million contract with the Angels in December 2011. There are reasons to be optimistic heading into 2014, as Pujols resumed baseball activities early in the offseason, but it seems likely that his days of being baseball's best hitter are well behind him.
Pujols got off to a slow start for the second year in a row and finished the season with what were easily the worst numbers of his career despite turning things around about one quarter of the way through the year. Although his numbers were still excellent by the standards of nearly any other player, Pujols set career-lows in home runs, runs, batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage. The peripherals back up the numbers, as Pujols' strikeout rate of 11.3 percent was his highest since his rookie season, and his home run and walk rates (4.5% and 7.8%, respectively) were the lowest marks of his career. The good news is that Pujols should enter the season relatively healthy after undergoing a minor arthroscopic procedure on his knee in October, and he figures to improve a bit in his second season with the Angels, especially if he can avoid a slow start. Pujols' run as the best hitter in baseball has likely come to an end, but he still figures to be one of the top producers at first base this season, even if he is no longer in the same class as reigning AL MVP Miguel Cabrera.
How would you like to have the kind of career where hitting .299 and driving in 99 runs is a disappointment? That's Pujols, who failed to reach 100 RBI and a .300 batting average for the first time in his illustrious career. That didn't stop him from hitting like an MVP down the stretch when he was carrying the Cardinals into the World Series. The dude can hit, and he'll continue to do so even in an Angels uniform, but he's 32 now. Another somewhat alarming note: his 61 walks were a career low and his BB:K ratio was his worst since 2002. His value isn't plummeting, but he no longer looks like the automatic top pick in fantasy drafts.
It seemed like something was wrong with Pujols early in 2010, but it's doubtful anyone complained about his final line, which even included 14 stolen bases. He's as consistent as they come: 10 years in the league, and only that annoying 99-run effort in 2007 prevented him from 10 years of 30-100-100-.300. He should be the consensus No. 1 pick in mixed leagues again in 2011.
Not much more can be said: Pujols is simply the best hitter in the league. The career-high 16 stolen bases probably won't be repeated next year, but you can feel safe picking him with the first pick in your league anyway. He had his long-awaited elbow surgery in October, but he should be fine by spring training.
Pujols was rightfully awarded the MVP in 2008, finishing with 37 home runs, 116 RBI and a .357 batting average. Not bad for a guy whose price was depressed last spring due to questions surrounding his sore elbow. Pujols finally had surgery in October, but is expected to be ready for spring training. As long as he's healthy in March, he could very well be the No. 1 overall pick in most fantasy drafts.
Although he only missed four games last season, Pujols played through numerous injuries all year and was on fumes during the last month. While his final stat line looks good, Pujols had career lows in runs, RBI and homers. That’s more a testament to his great track record than to a bad year. Assuming he and the players around him stay healthy, there’s nothing keeping him from going back to being the best offensive player in the game this year.
Despite landing on the DL for the first time in his career, Pujols had yet another MVP-caliber season in 2006 and won his first Gold Glove. His .671 SLG and 92:50 BB:K were career bests. He appears to have no holes in his game, although he likely won’t again approach the 16 stolen bases he had in 2005. He’ll enter 2007 as the consensus top pick in draft formats.
In 2005, Pujols finally won the MVP award he has been so close to winning the previous four seasons. If we've learned anything from watching him in his first five seasons, it's that he's remarkably consistent. Expect more of the same stellar numbers in 2006.
Pujols will enter the 2005 season at age 25, meaning he has yet to hit his statistical prime, which sabermetricians postulate comes after age 27. That's a scary thought considering he set career highs with 46 home runs and 84 walks. A batter without weakness, Pujols lowered his strikeout total from 93 as a rookie to just 52 in 2004. With pitchers unable to stop him, health becomes an issue. He battled through plantar fasciitis in his left foot from August through the end of the season. He was hardly slowed, hitting .344 in September and .414 with six home runs in the postseason. Winter treatments should heal that problem right up, giving pitchers even more pause.
He can hit a little. Losing third-base eligibility is a minor blow; Pujols is a high draft pick no matter where he's eligible. Expect some dropoff from the big 2003, just enough to make him seem mortal. He's basically Vlad Guerrero with more plate discipline and less foot speed.
Last season’s runner-up in the NL MVP voting, Pujols’ numbers actually fell off a bit last season despite putting up a very solid .314/.394/.561. But that says more about how good his rookie season (.329/.403/.610) was than anything negative about Pujols’ development. In fact, Pujols’ batting eye improved last season as he walked three more times (72 from 69) and struck out 24 fewer (69 from 93). Given his age, 23, his work ethic and his attitude, we expect Pujols to match or exceed last season’s numbers in 2003. Pujols’ positional flexibility (41 games at 3B, 21 at 1B, 118 in the OF) is an added bonus.
More Fantasy News
On bench Wednesday
1BLos Angeles Angels
April 17, 2019
Pujols is not starting Wednesday against Texas, Jeff Fletcher of The Orange County Register reports.
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Not starting Saturday
1BLos Angeles Angels
April 13, 2019
Pujols heads to the bench Saturday against the Cubs.
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Goes deep at Wrigley
1BLos Angeles Angels
April 12, 2019
Pujols went 2-for-4 with a solo homer in a 5-1 loss to the Cubs on Friday.
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Hits first 2019 homer
1BLos Angeles Angels
April 6, 2019
Pujols went 1-for-4 with a solo home run in a 5-1 victory over the Rangers on Saturday.
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Not in Sunday's lineup
1BLos Angeles Angels
March 31, 2019
Pujols is on the bench Sunday against the Athletics.
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