Albert Pujols in his age 35 season is leading all of baseball in home runs with 29. Read that sentence again.
In a double-header today in Anaheim against the Red Sox, Pujols homered three times to take the lead from his teammate Mike Trout (who hit his own 28th home run of the season), only to take the lead back from Trout late in the night with his third home run of the day. Pujols ends the day with 549 home runs on his career. The final one of the day allowed him to pass legendary Mike Schmidt on the all-time list.
Right now Pujols is only a 2.5 bWAR, which is a far cry from the days when he posted 8.5 to 9.7 regularly. But I’m a guy who loves power. Since May 28th, Pujols has now homered 21 times and owns an OPS over 1.000, showing that in flashes he can absolutely be the great Pujols of old. He just seems to be a habitual slow starter, overcoming an April in which he hit .208 with only three home runs and nine RBI.
I wish there was more out there on the web to what is making Pujols go – but details seem nary at the moment. It’s hard for one not to have the thought enter their mind; to ask themselves if the great slugger is doing this completely clean. Power is usually the last redeeming quality to go, and this especially holds true with the legends.
It’s impressive to me that in his age 35 season, Pujols is going to pull some MVP votes. He was an aging horse a while ago who had been put out to pasture and readied for the glue factory by scouts and fans alike. It appears at the moment that the guy has a lot more in the tank and his career is going to wind down as it should.