He is the only player in MLB history to average hit over .300, have 30 homeruns, 100 RBI, and 99 runs scored in each of his first eight seasons.
An elbow injury at the beginning of last season pushed Pujols back to a projected second rounder in our 2008 fantasy baseball draft pre-season analysis. Many thought Pujols should have had surgery to repair the elbow, but Albert apparently knew better. All Pujols did, injured elbow and all, was win the MVP Award in a season in which he hit .357 with 37 homers, 116 RBI, and 100 runs scored.
Want to talk about respect? Pujols was walked 55 times in 88 at bats during his senior year in high school. Whomever walked him had the right idea; he hit .660 with eight homeruns in his 33 at bats where he had a chance to swing.
The other potential # 1 pick to rival Pujols is Marlins’ shortstop Hanley Ramirez. Ramirez has hit .301 and .332 respectively in the past two seasons with 33 and 29 homers. Add to that that Han Ram can rack up some serious steals as well. He swiped 51 bases in 2006 and 2007 before falling off to 35 last year. With Cameron Maybin destined for the leadoff spot, Ramirez will hit third. Ramirez’s stolen bases may fall off a little more in the 2009 fantasy baseball season, but Ramirez’s RBI total should increase–22 of Ramirez’s 33 homers last year were solo shots. If Ramirez could steal 51 bases again, we’d be tempted to go with him with the first pick, but Pujols has done it longer and we’ll take that reliability with the first pick.