Pujols Wins Third NL MVP
Note…There won’t be a post the next two days for Thanksgiving holiday and lack of baseball news and should be posting again on Saturday.
Albert Pujols wins third NL MVP award.
Albert Pujols captured all 32 first place votes as he won his third NL MVP award in five years. Pujols and Barry Bonds have won seven of the last nine NL MVP awards with two Phillies Ryan Howard and Jimmy Rollins taking the other two awards.
Jeff Kent won the 2000 NL MVP award which gives the Giants five MVP’s, the Cardinals three MVP’s and the Phillies two MVP’s since 1999 with none of the other thirteen NL teams having a player to win during that span.
Pujols is the only Cardinal to win a NL MVP award since 1985 when Willie McGee was the winner.
It was surprising that Pujols won so handily despite much lower power numbers in the second half. He hit 32 homers and drove in 87 runs in the first half but hit only 15 homers and drove in 48 runs during the second half. He slugged .723 in the first half and .582 in the second half.
Prince Fielder finished one homer behind Pujols with six more RBI’s while Ryan Howard hit two less homers and drove in 141 runs like Fielder. I can understand why Pujols won but can’t understand why he won by such a large margin.
Pujols didn’t lead all four offensive percentage statistics like Joe Mauer did in the AL but led in three of the four categories. He was third in batting average behind Hanley Ramirez at .342 and Pablo Sandoval at .330 with his average of .327.
He led in on base percentage by a large margin with a .443 OBP while Todd Helton was next at .416 among players with at least 500 at bats. His slugging average of .658 led the NL with Fielder second at .602. Pujols also led the NL in OPS with a 1.101 mark to the second place percentage of Fielder at 1.014.
Pujols finished the 2009 season at the age of 29 with 366 homers and 1112 RBI’s. His lifetime offensive percentage numbers are .334 batting average which is 24th best alltime, .4271 lifetime OBP which is barely behind Todd Helton with a .4273 and Pujols is tenth best alltime among players who started their career after 1999.
His .628 slugging percentage is fourth alltime with only Babe Ruth at .689, Ted Williams at .633 and Lou Gehrig at .632 ahead of him. He is fourth alltime in on base plus slugging with a 1.054 OPS. Babe Ruth, Ted Williams and Lou Gehrig are also the only players ahead of him in this category.
At the age of 29 Baseball-reference.com compares his stats with four Hallof Famers…Hank Greenberg, Johnny Mize, Ralph Kiner and Chuck Klein. He has hit more homers already than Greenberg, Klein and Mize and needs four to pass Kiner.
Pujols needs 34 homers in 2010 to reach 400 homers. Very few if any players have had 400 homers at the age of 30.
The Cardinals need to start freeing up money for Pujols when he becomes a free agent in 2012. He has earned $74 million during his career after earning $200,000 in 2001 and will earn $16 million in 2010 and 2011 seasons. Cot’s Baseball Contracts gives the details of his present contract:
Albert Pujols 1b
7 years/$100M (2004-10), plus 2011 club option
- 7 years/$100M (2004-10), plus 2011 club option
- signed extension with St. Louis 2/19/04 (avoided arbitration, $10.5M-$7M)
- 04:$7M, 05:$11M, 06:$14M, 07:$15M, 08:$16M, 09:$16M, 10:$16M, 11:$16M club option ($5M buyout)
- if option is not exercised, $4M of $5M buyout is deferred without interest
- complete no-trade clause for 2004-2006, with a limited no-trade clause for 2007 through end of deal
- $12M ($3M/year, 2007-10) deferred without interest, to be paid in 10 installments of $1.2M from 2020 to 2029, reducing present-day value at signing to $90,276,957
- award bonuses: $50,000 each for Silver Slugger, Gold Glove, All Star ($25,000 AS selection); $0.1M for LCS MVP; $0.15M for WS MVP; $0.2M for MVP ($0.1M for 2nd in vote, $50,000 for 3rd)
- perks: right to purchase 4 season tickets and luxury box at stadium each year
- Pujols to make 4 trips to Dominican Republic as club representative