Albert Pujols Compared to Arod: The Results Are Surprising

This isn’t going to be fair to Albert Pujols because he is being compared to an admitted steroid user.

I really don’t know what the results will be, but I’ll bet (apologies to Pete Rose’s special investigator, John Dowd) that Albert Pujols’ first 11 seasons were better than Alex Rodriguez’ first 11 seasons.

Rodriguez’ first full season was 1996 when he was 20-years-old. After spending 2000 in the minors, the 21-year-old Pujols played his first full season with the St. Louis Cardinals in 2001.

Both players are versatile. Pujols has played third base, left field, right field and became an excellent defensive first baseman.

Rodriguez would have become the second greatest shortstop ever, right behind behind Honus Wagner. Now his claim to fame is that he will retire as the greatest tainted third baseman in New York Yankees’ history.

Both players are fine base runners. Each is fast and each can steal, although Rodriguez stole more than Pujols (pun intended).

Rodriguez had stolen 234 bases in 292 attempts for an 80 percent success rate his first 11 seasons, while Pujols has 84 steals in 119 attempts, for a success rate of 71 percent.

Rodriguez averaged 21 stolen bases and five caught stealings, while Pujols has averaged about 7 steals and three caught stealings. Albert is as good a base runner as Rodriguez.

WAR (Wins Above Replacement) favors Pujols, whose WAR is 88.7 with a high of 10.9 in 2003. Rodriguez’ WAR is 80.5, His high is 11.0 in 2000.

Surprisingly, Rodriguez has a defensive WAR of -0.1. Pujols’ defensive WAR is 1.0.

Another modern statistic is RAR or Runs Above Replacement. Pujols’ RAR is 873; Rodriguez’ is 827.

With respect to traditional measurements, the following summarizes their achievements:


Rodriguez 459 1,326 .308 .389 .579

Pujols 445 1.329 .328 .420 .617

Even without using performance enhancing drugs, Pujols is clearly more effective on offensive, whether one uses modern or traditional measurements.

There is an integrity clause that is supposed to guide Hall of Fame voters. It has been in existence since the Hall of Fame opened in 1939.

” Voting shall be based upon the player’s record, playing ability, integrity, sportsmanship, character, and contributions to the team(s) on which the player played.”

Does anyone remember the Bronson Arroyo incident in the 2004 playoffs when Arroyo was covering first base and Rodriguez swatted the pitcher’s glove and knocked the ball out?

How about the time in Toronto when Rodriguez was on second base with two outs when Jorge Posada hit a high pop up to the left side. Blue Jays’ third baseman Howie Clark was set to make the catch when, as Rodriguez ran past him and shouted either “Mine” or “I got.”

Clark thought shortstop John McDonald was calling him off and the ball dropped safely.

Well, there are no surprises. As a player and as a person, Pujols is preferable.

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