When Albert Pujols signed with the Los Angeles Angels before the 2012 MLB season, there were high hopes because of his previous numbers. Pujols laid an egg to start the season and while he finished with 30 home runs and 105 RBI, the 2013 season is going to be one where Pujols is measured on whether or not he deserved a ten-year, $240 million contract from the Angels.
It is hard to make a full judgment on Pujols until I see a second full season in the American League, but right now, it isn’t looking too positive overall. The Angels are improved this season with the addition of Josh Hamilton so there is really no excuse why Pujols can’t knock in 120 runs. Pujols’ average has also gone down in each of the last four seasons to a career-low .285 last season. I know looking at a .285 average from any other player would make it a great season, but when Pujols had been hitting .330 or .340 in previous seasons, .285 doesn’t look as good.
Pujols is now 33 years old as well and may be past his peak performance, but he can still be a dangerous player and one that still demands respect at the plate. I want to see Pujols come back from his right knee surgery and be in the lineup on Opening Day, starting hotter than ever. Pujols will hit his 500th career home run this season as well in all likelihood and while the Hall of Fame will likely welcome Pujols in on his first ballot, Pujols should want to do it with a career that was consistent throughout and not one that sees him decline each passing year.