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Albert Pujols returns to the cardinals: Here are the milestones he could reach in the swan song of Saint-Louis

The St. Louis Cardinals have reached a one-year deal with franchise legend Albert Pujols. The deal is worth $2.5 million, according to the St. Louis Post-DispatchThe pact will give Pujols, 42, a small retirement with the team that drafted him and for which he played the first 11 years of his Hall of Fame career.

Pujols was reintroduced to the Cardinals faithful during a spring training game on Monday, and he told reporters the 2022 season would be his last in Major League Baseball.

Pujols hit .236/.284/.433 (91 OPS+) with 17 home runs and 50 RBIs in 296 plate appearances last season for the Angels and Dodgers combined. It was the final year of his 10-year contract. signed with the Angels after the 2011 season. As can be seen from the stat line, he’s still capable of hitting home runs at a high rate, but that’s about the extent of his usefulness these days .

Looking at the Cardinals roster, Pujols could be a field designated hitter, matching Corey Dickerson, who swings left. , so that makes enough sense for on-field baseball.

There is, of course, also the sentimental factor here. Pujols was drafted by the Cardinals in 1999 (a 13th round pick, in one of the greatest heists of all time). He made his debut in 2001, winning Rookie of the Year, making the All-Star team and finishing fourth in NL MVP voting at age 21.

Pujols would earn three MVPs in his 11 seasons with the Cardinals, finishing second four times and earning two World Series rings He led the league five times in WAR, runs five times, OPS three times, slugging three times, total goals four times, home runs twice and once in the following categories: Hits, Doubles, RBI, Average, On-Base Percentage.

It was a Hall of Fame career crammed into 11 seasons. Only Stan Musial, Rogers Hornsby and Bob Gibson have racked up more WAR with the Cardinals. In legendary franchise history, Pujols also ranks third in runs, fifth in hits, second in total bases, second in doubles, second in home runs (Musial really prevented a lot of firsts, by the way) , second in RBI, second in marches and second in OPS.

Pujols, of course, made a few compilations in his 10 years. In total, in his illustrious career, he now has 3,301 hits, 672 doubles, 679 homers, 2,150 RBIs and 1,872 runs.

  • He is 12th in hits. With just 19 more, he would overtake Paul Molitor and rank 10th all-time. He is 118 shy of a tie with Carl Yastrzemski for ninth and 119 shy of a tie with Honus Wagner for eighth. Cap Anson at seven is at 134.
  • Pujols is fifth in doubles and that’s where he will stay, 52 behind fourth-placed Ty Cobb.
  • The 679 home runs are fifth all-time. He’s 17 shy of tying A-Rod for fourth place. And if he can hit 21, he joins Barry Bonds, Hank Aaron and Babe Ruth in the 700 club. It will be fun to watch.
  • Pujols is third in RBI and 64 behind Ruth for second behind Aaron. It’s doable, right?
  • He is 14th in points, Lou Gehrig is only 16 in 12th, Derek Jeter is 11th and Pujols is 51.

More than anything, however, it still seems appropriate after all these years for Pujols to get one final stint with the Cardinals.

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