After signing a 10-year $240M contract with the Los Angeles Angels prior to the 2012 season, Albert Pujols had a season full of ups and downs. Entering his second season with the team perhaps Pujols can atone an MLB season that was great but, was not on par with the stellar 11 seasons he had with the St. Louis Cardinals.
Career lows in batting average, base-on-balls, home runs, hits and runs may give the Angels cause for concern as Pujols is just another year older in 2013. Turning 33 years old on Jan. 16th, Pujols is not getting any younger and if he is to honor the 10 year deal he singed with the Halos, he must get back to the player he was with the Cardinals.
Plenty have given him a pass in his first year away from St. Louis because of the stress involved with his free agency and the move to a much more difficult American League. With Josh Hamilton signing his own contract this off-season the Angels are under an even larger spotlight and are still expected to do what they couldn’t in 2012–reach the playoffs and win a world series for the first time since 2001.
Hamilton is coming off his most powerful season with 43 home runs and 128 RBI for the Texas Rangers in 2012, while his presence may aid Pujols in terms of pitch selection, there may not be enough runs to go around for the two superstars. In my mind the Angels may have opened pandora’s box by bringing in Hamilton as the expectations are going to be through the roof once again.
Pujols and the Angels will have their word cut out for them heading into another season of incredible expectations but, I believe Pujols will produce similarly to what he did last year, which is more than serviceable.