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Albert Pujols was on top of the world with the Cardinals. His career since leaving St. Louis highlights just how good he was and how far he has declined.
For 10 years, Albert Pujols starred for the St. Louis Cardinals with his bat providing huge numbers.
He left in 2012 for Los Angeles and his stats since prove several things. First, he was otherworldly in his days with the Cardinals. Second, he’s been a shell of himself since.
Ryan Spaeder laid it out with a stunning stat on Twitter.
Stats reveal the full extend of Albert Pujols’ decline after leaving Cardinals
“Albert Pujols could have gone 0-598 when he left St. Louis and still had a career batting average of .300 – it is certainly not a knock on him, but it is amazing that he is now a lifetime .297 hitter,” Spaeder tweeted.
The idea that Pujols could have gone most of a full season without a hit and still maintained his career average above .300 is absolutely incredible.
When he finished his career in St. Louis, Pujols had an average of .328. That’s equal to Trae Turner’s MLB-best batting average for the 2021 season. And Pujols maintained that for a decade.
The sad thing is Pujols has dipped below a .300 career batting average. In many ways, a switch was flipped when he traded a Cardinals jersey for the Angels.
His first season in Los Angeles was still productive, but it was also a career-low for home runs, batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage up to that point. And it would only get worse.
With the Cardinals, Pujols had one season with a batting average below .300 and that was .299 in his final year. He had zero seasons above .300 from 2012 to 2021 with the Angels and then Dodgers.
In the first 11 years of his career, he was .328/.420/.617 at the plate with 445 home runs. In the next 10 years in Los Angeles, he was .256/.311/.448 with 234 home runs.