Forty five games into the year and he’s still not hitting very well. Let’s do the run down, shall we?
- He’s lost sixty-five points off his career batting average.
- His on-base percentage is down ninety points.
- He’s slugging over two hundred points less on the season.
Yes, it’s still early blah blah blah, but can you believe Albert Pujols is having such a bad year?
Carl Crawford and Albert Pujols are as different as two position players can be, from their positions to their skill sets. About the only way they are comparable is that both picked this year to have their worst season to date. Pujols is sporting a .743 OPS. This from a guy who two seasons ago slugged .658. Pujols has won the NL MVP three times and finished second for the award four other times. MVP’s aren’t the greatest arbiters of player quality, but Pujols has finished first or second seven times!
Pujols is the greatest hitter in baseball over the last ten years and through forty-five games he’s performed like he’s James Loney (who’s performing like he’s Jorge Cantu (who is married to the second cousin of the sophomore year room mate of Kevin Bacon arborist’s daughter! Got it!)).
Despite immense differences as players, Crawford’s first year in Boston isn’t too dissimilar to Pujols’ season in St. Louis. Look at this Crawford slash line: .080/.085/.154. That’s how far Crawford is off of his career numbers. Compare it to the bullet points above, or heck, here they are: .065/.090/.210. You can see it’s not far from what Pujols is going through 1,200 miles to the southwest.
Are both Pujols and Crawford going to stop hitting and turn into mediocre players barely worth of roster spots in the same season? In a year where Jose Bautista is proving to be the best hitter in baseball, I suppose it’s possible, but there’s only one Bautista and that already happened.
I realize the last couple sentences don’t present the strongest argument, so here is a much stronger one. Like Pujols, Crawford has a long track record of success at the major league level. We haven’t passed the point where Crawford’s year-to-date stats are more predictive than his entire body of work in the major leagues.
Carl Crawford is very good at baseball and nothing he’s done so far has invalidated the Red Sox decision to sign him. He hasn’t done much to justify the deal yet, but he will.