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Projecting Albert Pujols’ final career stats

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Top 10 on the all time hit list? Most likely!

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim  v Seattle Mariners Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

On Friday night, Albert Pujols reached a huge milestone. Rarified air. But he is not done. Pick on his long contract and decline all you want, but Pujols is still racking up hits, home runs, RBIs, etc, AND like it or not, he has 3 more years left on his contract after this season concludes. What’s going to happen over the remained of 2018 and beyond? How high can Pujols climb and what will his final stats look like?

Below are Pujols’ stats over the past 4 years as well as current stats for 2018. The 2018 pace stats are what his season will look like if he keeps up on his current pace. I added a 2018 adjusted row to give a more realistic version or what his final 2018 stats may look like.

Albert Pujols Stats

Year Age G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA
Year Age G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA
2014 34 159 695 633 89 172 37 1 28 105 48 71 0.272
2015 35 157 661 602 85 147 22 0 40 95 50 72 0.244
2016 36 152 650 593 71 159 19 0 31 119 49 75 0.268
2017 37 149 636 593 53 143 17 0 23 101 37 93 0.241
2018 YTD 38 31 134 129 15 33 7 0 6 19 4 17 0.256
2018 Pace 38 5 627 603 70 154 33 0 28 89 19 80 0.256
2018 ADJ 38 140 600 550 70 135 18 0 28 100 30 80 0.245
2019 39 105 450 413 53 95 14 0 21 75 23 60 0.229
2020 40 79 338 309 39 66 10 0 16 56 17 45 0.214
2021 41 59 253 232 30 50 8 0 12 42 13 34 0.214

Given Pujols’ age and 25% per year decline with a decline in batting average per year, we can look at some of the number Pujols MIGHT put up by the time he reached the end of his career and they look something like this:

Hits = 3,346
Homeruns = 697
RBIs = 2210
Doubles = 675

That best case scenario with hits would put him at 10th overall, just ahead of Paul Molitor (3,319). Home runs may not happen, but it’s possible Pujols could top Alex Rodriguez (696) for 4th all time, but it’s likely he will end up in 5th place, bumping Willie Mays (660). Pujols only needs 41 more home runs in 3 12 seasons to end up 5th on the all time list.

RBIs are pretty intriguing since a best case scenario MIGHT bump Pujols above Babe Ruth (2,214) for 2nd on the all time list. However, Pujols should land at least #3 on the list, bumping down AFraud (2086), as he only needs 149 more RBIs to accomplish that feat.

Pujols isn’t exactly a doubles machine anymore, but he is still hitting them and currently sits at #11 on the list with 626. The best case scenario may be 675 doubles which amounts to 49 more over 3.5 seasons. That total would land him at #5 on the list all time for doubles, just ahead of Craig Biggio (668).

So here is what we have:
Hits 10th
HRs 4th
RBIs 2nd
Doubles 5th

Even sliding a few spots on those lists puts Pujols in extremely rarified air. The only steroid free people to end up ahead of Pujols on the all time HR list include just Babe Ruth and Hank Aaron. That’s some pretty good company, AND only Hank Aaron has achieve 600+ HRs and 3000+ hits, which ALREADY means Pujols is the 2ND person in history to reach that milestone drug free.

Of course there are a lot of assumptions here on the amount of production Pujols has left in him. We could see a precipitous drop from 2018 to 2019. We could even see one later this year. OR, he could hit 30 home runs again in 2018 and 25 more in 2019. He’s certainly not the powerhouse he once was, but he’s still producing AND he’s surrounded by a pretty potent lineup (most days). Is he worth 30 million a year? Nope. But he’s an all time great and adding to those all time numbers every time he steps on the field.