Albert Pujols is really, really good. He is on fire right now, having reached his standard 30 home run plateau for the 100th season in a row. While the team around him somewhat flounders, Pujols soldiers on. After going through a “slow” start in which he hit just 9 home runs with a mere .745 OPS for the first two months of season, Pujols is back to being Pujolsian once again.
In his past 50 starts, Pujols has 21 home runs, 15 doubles and strikeout-to-walk rate a hair under 1. His slash line looks like .312/.376/.693/1.068. Which is awesome, especially compared to his early struggles.
Pujols started cool and heated up. Another player in baseball started red hot though is currently mired in something of a prolonged slump. Sort of.
As red hot as Albert Pujols is over the last 50 games, he can’t even touch Jose Bautista’s early-season heat. In case you forgot, Bautista’s line at the 50 game milemarker looked like .354/.500/.753/1.253 with 50 walks and 20 home runs. Yeesh.
Jose Bautista obviously could not sustain those Barry Bonds/video game numbers, but his slump is only relative to his previous insane level of play.
Over the time in which Pujols has dominated, Bautista’s depressed slash line of .277/.412/.535/.947 isn’t exactly anything to sneeze at. 50 more walks and another 15 home runs. Yup, he’s pretty good.
As Keith Law noted on Twitter yesterday, Bautista’s slugged just .381 since the All Star break yet he still leads the AL in that category. Such are the historic heights Jose Bautista reached in 2011. Whether you’re a Blue Jays fan or just fan of baseball in general, his incredible level of play is something to be marveled and appreciated. Playing that well for that long is nearly impossible, even for all time greats like Albert Pujols.
Want even more perspective? Edwin Encarnacion has a .935 OPS with 10 home runs and 25 walks over that same arbitrary timeline. Edwin Encarnacion!