Albert Pujols & the St. Louis Cardinals Triple Crown


Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch pioneered the analysis of an individual club Triple Crown and he did so in the context of the greatness of Albert Pujols as a member of the St. Louis Cardinals. Earlier in the season, when Pujols got off to a slow start, I took a look at the possibility that he would not win the St. Louis Cardinals Triple Crown in 2011. Pujolsian production from mid-May to season's end allowed Pujols to make up the gap. Despite missing time due to his wrist injury, Pujols still managed to win the counting stat categories. It was only in batting average that he trailed any teammate--Lance Berkman by two points and Yadier Molina by six points.

A look at Pujols's St. Louis Cardinals rankings in the Triple Crown catgories after the jump.

YEAR

AVG.

HR

RBI

2001

.329 (1)

37 (1)

130 (1)

2002

.314 (1)

34 (1)

127 (1)

2003

.359 (1)

43 (1)

124 (1)

2004

.331 (1)

46 (1)

123 (2*)

2005

.330 (1)

41 (1)

117 (1)

2006

.331 (1)

49 (1)

137 (1)

2007

.327 (1)

32 (1)

103 (1)

2008

.357 (1)

37 (1**)

116 (1)

2009

.327 (1)

47 (1)

135 (1)

2010

.312 (1***)

42 (1)

118 (1)

2011

.299 (3****)

37 (1)

99 (1)

 

 *In 2004, Pujols finished second in RBI total to Scott Rolen, who drove in 124 runs.

**In 2008, Pujols tied Ryan Ludwick in HR total.

***In 2010, Pujols and Holliday tied on the databases but Holliday had a BA a bit higher.

****In 2011, Pujols finished behind Berkman (.301) and Molina (.305) in BA.

In advanced stats, Pujols also lagged behind. Berkman led the Cardinals with a .402 wOBA and Holliday posted a .393 wOBA. Pujols finished 2011 with a .385 wOBA. (Allen Craig finished 2011 with a .399 wOBA in 219 PAs.)

Using Fangraphs WAR, Pujols led the team by one-tenth of a Win Above Replacement. He finished the season with 5.1 fWAR, just ahead of Berkman (5.0) and Holliday (5.0). Molina finished the 2011 season with 4.1 Fangraphs WAR. Next on the position player list is Jon Jay (2.8) who is followed by David Freese (2.7).

It was a down year for Pujols when compared to the production of his career. Nonetheless it was still excellent even if it wasn't Pujolsian.

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