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Albert Pujols is poised to have one heck of a final, record-breaking season.
The St. Louis Cardinals announced Monday they have brought Albert Pujols back to the club on a one-year contract worth $2.5 million, for what will be his final season as a player.
Pujols will approach and surpass several long-standing major league records in this final season. What better club to do it for than the St. Louis Cardinals, where he began his Hall of Fame career. The Cardinals and the city of St. Louis will celebrate Pujols and rightly so.
It’s anticipated Pujols will be the club’s designated hitter when left-handed pitchers are on the mound but don’t be too shocked to see him against a righty. Against LHP, Pujols is hitting .299/.380/.567.
Here’s what records Pujols is approaching that fans should keep an eye on.
Pujols enters the 2022 season at 14th on the all-time hits list at 3,236.
According to MLB.com, if Pujols has 84 hits, he will pass Nap Lajoie, Eddie Murray, Willie Mays, Eddie Collins, and Paul Molitor, who had 3,319 hits. Pujols would then be in ninth place on the all-time list. After Molitor, Carl Yastrzemski is in eighth place with 3,419 hits.
Total Bases and Extra Hits
Pujols has 5,923 career total bases entering 2022. Per MLB.com if he gets his average 210 bases Pujols would have 6,133 total bases. Next up on the list is Barry Bonds at 5,976, Willie Mays at 6,066, Stan Musial at 6,134, and Hank Aaron with 6,856.
Please note, if he gets the 210 bases bringing him to 6,133 it would put him one base behind Musial, a Cardinal legend, and Hall of Famer, who had 6,134. If this happens, It will be curious to see if he tries to get two more bases to break Musial’s record.
And, Pujols has 1,347 career extra-base hits. This makes him fifth behind Babe Ruth at 1,356, Musial at 1,377, Bonds at 1,440, and Aaron at 1,477.
Pujols averages 41 extra bases per season which would bring him to 1,388 extra bases. If he meets this mark, he could easily pass Ruth and Musial.
This is the one that many Cardinal fans would love to see happen. Reaching 700 home runs. Cardinals fans will love it.
Pujols stands fifth on the all-time home run list at 679. It would take 18 home runs for Pujols to pass Alex Rodriguez, who has 696, for 697. It will take him 21 home runs to have 700 for his career.
Even in a season in which he declined and was released by the Los Angeles Angels and ultimately signed by the Los Angeles Dodgers, Pujols knocked 17 homers in 2021.
If Pujols is healthy and gets enough plate appearances, he could very well approach A-Rod and possibly hit that 700 mark that would have fans cheering.
Pujols should have an epic final season with a lot of amazing milestones possible.