King Albert's best

So Albert’s gotten off to a great start so far this season – 7 HR and 25 RBI prior to Wednesday’s game. With just 2 games left in the month (as I type this) it occurred to me that it’s been one of his better months in the big leagues. So just how good has it been? Let’s see:

The following are Albert’s 5 best months (offensively) as measured by wRAA.

#5 (tie) – August, 2001 and August, 2004 – 15.8 wRAA. In August of Albert’s rookie campaign he scored 32 runs and knocked in 25. Though he only hit 6 homers, he slugged .696 and had a wOBA of .474. Not bad for a rookie, huh? Exactly 3 years later, Albert doubled his home run production from 2001 – he hit 12, 2nd most in any month in the majors – and knocked in 29 runs. He also scored 26. Though his OBP was a little low (for him -- .405), he slugged .772, the 2nd highest of any month in his career.

#4 – September/October, 2006 – 15.9 wRAA. The Cards may have faded late in the ’06 season, almost forfeiting a chance to play for the championship they would ultimately win, but it wasn’t Albert’s fault. He had 10 homers, scored 22 runs and knocked in 28 as the regular season came to a close. He slugged .700 and had a wOBA of .475. The Cards, by the way, ended October by celebrating at the new stadium. Chris Duncan dry-humped the championship trophy. (Yuck!)

#3 – August, 2008 – 17.5 wRAA. Albert likely clinched his 2nd MVP trophy during August of last year. The traditional counting stats look rather pedestrian among his other months – 8 HR, 18 runs scored, 22 RBI – but his OBP was .491 and he slugged .745. His wOBA was an astounding .510. This wasn’t the best team Albert’s played on but, again, it wasn’t his fault.

#2 – June, 2003 – 19.5 wRAA. In Albert’s third year in the big leagues, he was setting the standard that he would become one of the best hitters in the game. Again, Albert "only" hit 8 homers during this month but he did score 28 runs and knock in 29 more. Additionally, his OBP was .481 and his slugging was, once again, over .700 – at .723. This was one of three months in which his wOBA was over .500 at .502.

#1 – March/April, 2006 – 20.8 wRAA. I think we all remember this month, don’t we? He had just finished playing in the inaugural WBC and came out as hot as the summer air in Miami. People were talking about triple crowns and 200 RBI seasons and all sorts of ridiculous stuff. He hit 14 homers, scored 27 runs and knocked in 32 more. He also walked 28 times and struck out only 7. His OBP was .509 and he slugged an ungodly .914. (For those of you scoring at home, that’s a ridiculous OPS of 1.423). His wOBA was .552. Ryan Howard won the MVP this year b/c of what he’d done in September b/c people forgot about what kind of April Pujols had. It’s insane that he wasn’t the MVP this season also.

HR R RBI BB K OBP SLG wOBA wRAA
8/01 6 32 25 14 14 .441 .696 .474 15.8
8/04 12 26 29 10 13 .405 .772 .478 15.8
9-10/06 10 22 28 19 11 .465 .700 .475 15.9
8/08 8 18 22 17 12 .491 .745 .510 17.5
6/03 8 28 29 12 11 .481 .723 .502 19.5
3-4/06 14 27 32 28 7 .509 .914 .552 20.8

As it turns out, though Albert’s been great this month, it’s not even in his top 15 months in the big leagues. I really thought I’d be able to look carefully at the numbers and find it to be in the top 5. Right now he sits at a .457 wOBA and 9.7 wRAA – nice totals, mind you but clearly not among his best. Well, I guess he’s got 2 more games to get it there but his last 2 games will have to be other-worldly!

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