Twelve stats you need to know about… Albert Pujols
With a pair of home runs in the Cardinals 11-0 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers last night (September 23), Albert Pujols joined Barry Bonds, Henry Aaron and Babe Ruth with 700 career homers. Pujols hit #698 on September 16 and went almost a week before he slugged #699 and #700 in the contest, his 65th multi-HR game of his illustrious career.
Here are 12 stats you need to know about Pujols and his chase for immortality and the 700-HR milestone:
- Pujols was a 13th round pick of the Cardinals in the 1999 draft. Of the 40 players chosen by the Cardinals that year, only one other selection, Coco Crisp, who was chosen in the seventh round, played 400 or more games in the majors (Pujols has played 3,072 through September 23). Crisp played 1,586 games in the majors, yet he never played for the Cardinals (the team that drafted him) in the bigs. The Cardinals number one pick that year was Chance Caple, a righthanded pitcher from Texas A&M. Caple spent five years in the minors, never advancing higher than Single A ball. According to baseball-reference.com, Caple signed a $1.2m bonus; Pujols signed for $60,000.
- Pujols played only one year in the minors hitting 19 home runs, driving in 96 with a .314 batting average.
- He made his MLB debut against the Colorado Rockies (in Colorado) on April 2, 2001, starting in leftfield. Batting sixth in the order, he went 1-for-3. His first MLB at-bat was a groundout to third in the 2nd inning. He collected his first MLB hit in the 7th inning on a single to left off pitcher Mike Hampton.
- Albert was a three-time National League MVP. He is one of five players to win three or more NL MVP awards; the others are Stan Musial, Roy Campanella, Mike Schmidt and Barry Bonds.
- He hit most of his 700 HRs, 504 to be exact, from the number 3 spot in the batting order. He has the third most HRs from the #3 spot in the batting order in MLB history behind Babe Ruth (553) and Ken Griffey, Jr. (530)
- Pujols hit 154 long balls in the first inning, most of any inning in his career. Second most was 87 in the fifth inning.
- He is one of 21 players to have scored 100 or more runs in a season 10 times. Hank Aaron tops this category with 15 seasons scoring 100 or more runs.
- Of his 700 career home runs, Pujols hit the most, 62, against the Houston Astros. He hit 59 versus the Cubs and 54 against the Pirates. The pitcher he hit the most HRs off is Ryan Dempster with eight.
- Even with 3,377 career hits, Pujols had 200 hits in only one season (212 in 2003). He had over 190 hits in three seasons (196 in 2004, 195 in 2005, and 194 in 2001).
- Pujols had 30 or more home runs in 14 seasons, tying him with Barry Bonds for third most 30-HR seasons in baseball history. Hank Aaron and Alex Rodriguez are tied for the most 30-HR seasons with 15.
- He had six seasons where he hit 40 or more HR, drove in 110 or more runs, and batted .300 or higher. Alex Rodriguez also had six 40-11-.300 campaigns. Babe Ruth tops this stat with 11 such seasons.
- Albert played in 86 post-season games. He hit 19 home runs, drove in 54, and had a .321 career post-season batting average. In baseball history, only one other player has hit 15 HR, had 50 RBI and batted .300 or higher in his career in the post season… Derek Jeter.
Twelve stats you need to know about… Maury Wills
Maury Wills, a 15-year MLB veteran who was credited with bringing the stolen base back into the forefront of offensive strategy in baseball in the 1960’s, died on September 19 at the age of 89.
Here are 12 stats you need to know about Maury Wills:
- One of 111 MLB players born in Washington D.C., Wills is arguably the best player in MLB history born in Washington D.C. Of those 111 players born in D.C., Wills ranks first in games played, hits, stolen bases, and ranks second in runs scored.
- Wills had 586 career steals and 458 career RBI. He is one of 37 players to have 400 RBI and 500 steals in MLB history.
- He is one of 39 players to steal 500 or more bases in a career. He also hit 20 home runs in his 15-year career. Of the 39 players with 500 or more career stolen bases, Wills’ 20 home runs are the fourth fewest of that group. Juan Pierre (18), Patsy Donovan (16) and Otis Nixon (11) had fewer HRs than Wills.
- Maury led the league in stolen bases six times and led the league in caught stealing seven times. He was caught stealing 208 times, fifth most all-time. Rickey Henderson tops this career category with 335 caught stealing.
- Wills had 2,134 career hits and 1,067 career runs scored to go along with his 586 career steals. He is one of 32 players to reach the 2,000 hits, 1,000 runs, 500 steals milestones. The last was Ichiro Suzuki.
- He hit .302 twice in his career and had one season where he hit .299 (1962).
- Wills finished in the Top 20 in National League MVP voting seven times; he won the N.L. MVP in 1962.
- Although best known for his 12 years with the Dodgers, Wills also spent two seasons with the Pirates and one with the Expos.
- In 1962, Wills broke the MLB record with 104 stolen bases. It was previously held by Ty Cobb with 96 in 1915. Wills’ 104 steals were more than any team had that year.
- He was a three-time World Series champion. In the 1965 Fall Classic, he had 11 hits and batted .367.
- Wills was on the Hall of Fame ballot for 15 years. The highest percentage of the votes he received in those 15 years was 40.6%.
- Wills was drafted 21st by the Expos in the 1968 Expansion Draft. He was the Expos leadoff batter in their first game on April 8, 1969.