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How does the Delayed MLB Season Affect Albert Pujols?

Albert Pujols

By now, many people know about Major League Baseball being Postponed. It has certainly affected many people in different ways. What about the players? There likely won’t be any pitchers reaching 300 strikeouts or anyone hitting 50 homers if the season is shortened enough. Then there’s 40-year-old Albert Pujols. He’s already achieved some major milestones in his career. However, he’s still in reach of some more. Will the pushed back season be the reason he won’t reach some of the following milestones?

700 Home Runs

Albert Pujols
Albert Pujols and Barry Bonds (Image from NBC Sports)

Albert Pujols currently resides at 656 big league home runs. If he hits five more, he will move into fifth place on the all-time list, passing Willie Mays. Next up is A-Rod, who is retired with 696 long balls. If Pujols could pass him, he would need just three more homers to reach a very, very impressive 700 home runs. Barry Bonds, Hank Aaron and Babe Ruth are the only players on the all-time list with more than 700 homers.

Pujols’ contract ends in 2022. If he decides to retire after his contract expires, he will need 44 home runs by the end of the 2022 season to reach 700. That would’ve been three more seasons, but now it’s set to be two seasons plus however the 2020 season ends up unfolding. It’s still attainable, but Pujols doesn’t hit homers as frequently as when he was in his 20’s. He still hit 23 homers in both 2017 and 2019, so he could still reach the milestone.

Doubles

Albert Pujols leads all active players in doubles and is currently seventh all-time with 661. With just eight more doubles, he will move into fifth, passing both George Brett and Craig Biggio. Next would be Ty Cobb, who has 724 and Stan Musial who has just one more at 725. If Pujols had three seasons, he would move into third by averaging 22 doubles a season. However, that number can move into the upper 20’s for the last two seasons of his contract, assuming that he still hits some doubles eventually this year.

RBIs

Albert Pujols
In 2010, Miguel Cabrera led the AL in RBI with 126, while Pujols led the NL at 118. (Image from Baseball Prospectus)

Another stat where Pujols is already in the top-10 all-time is runs batted in. He’s currently tied with Cap Anson for fourth at 2,075 RBIs. The next closest active player is Miguel Cabrera, who is over 350 RBI behind Pujols at 1,694. He will pass A-Rod for third-most all-time with a dozen RBIs. Babe Ruth (2,214) and Hank Aaron (2,297) are listed as the top two RBI leaders. Pujols needs 223 RBIs to get to first all-time. Over the last five seasons, Pujols has been averaging 94.4 RBIs per season. If he gets 94 RBI in 2021 and 2022, that’ll put him at 2,263. He would need 35 more RBIs to take the lead and be first on the all-time list. As long as a decent amount of games get played this season, he could reach 35 RBIs this year.

Conclusion

Even with this season being pushed back, Pujols is still in a spot where he can reach some more milestones. However, having this full season could’ve gotten the three-time NL MVP winner closer to some of the big ones like 700 homers and first place on the all-time RBI list. Like many other players, this delay to the season is having an impact on Pujols’ MLB career.

Feature Image Courtesy of Fox Sports 2

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