Albert Pujols 2012: Three Retrospectives

Albert Pujols' torrid start as an Angel has captivated baseball fans everywhere, as the slugging first baseman tears through a new league in his inaugural season with the defending AL West second-place champions.

With all of April and half of May in the books, Pujols already has one (1) home run, but don't let that gaudy number fool you: Mr. Consistency's not going to sustain that breakneck pace all year. Come on, that would mean he finishes the season with five dingers. He's never ended any year with that many home runs.

Imagine if he keeps it up!

Joking is fun, but the numbers thus far are so entertaining on their own, I have to get out of the way and reveal them to you right this second.

Albert Pujols, three-time MVP, four-time MVP runner-up, proud owner of this collection:

.221 wOBA

34 wRC+

.510 OPS, with a .197 BA

0.41 BB/K

077 ISO

-1.0 fWAR

Synopsis: If Albert were a 2011 Mariner, he'd be Brendan Ryan (his stat line), only without the glove.
(Here's the link to Pujols' B-R page, and the link to his fangraphs page. There are more goodies there than this post could ever hold.)

But wait. Don't leave just yet. It isn't even Memorial Day. More than three quarters of the season remain to be played! Easily enough time for Pujols to...

A) Catch fire.

He started slow last year, then did actually heat up. Let's go ahead and play him almost every day that remains, adding on 126 games of Robot Bat-God Pujols, circa 2008, when he posted a .462 OBP, a 192 OPS+ and logged 9.1 fWAR. (Holy shit dude.)

Final 2012 result

Triple Crown Numbers: .319, 32 HR, 111 RBI

Slash Line: .319 / .413 / .559

wOBA: about .410

fWAR: about 8

That's depressing. Let's move on quickly, to the next option, which will be less depressing, I promise. You can trust me, because I've already read the next paragraph. Consider that Albert might...

B) Slump miserably for a while longer, then regress

No reason to think things will automatically get better for him immediately. Let's give Albert another lousy six weeks, just by doubling his current stats, then let's add on 81 games' worth of his lifetime career numbers.

Final 2012 Result

Triple Crown Numbers: .264, 23 HR, 86 RBI

Slash Line: . 264 / .331 / .449

wOBA: in the vicinity of .340

fWAR: in the vicinity of 3.5

Looks like Adrian Beltre's 2006 and 2007. Or, Pujols just might...

C) Not get better, yet still play almost every day

The ultimate haha Angels scenario involves multiplying Pujols' stats by 4.643, which gets us to 162 team games played.

Final 2012 Result

Triple Crown Numbers: .197, 5 HR, 56 RBI

Slash Line: .197 / .235 / .275

wOBA: still .221

fWAR: -4.6 (notice the horizontal line thingy that precedes the 4)

Of note: With each win being worth 4.4 million dollars this season, Pujols' WAR performance would "command" about -$20.4 million in salary. Yes, that's a $44.4 million swing from his actual salary.

Please don't forget that C) is what he's on track for, on the morning of May 15, 2012. No matter what, we'll always have today.

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