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flock of berts

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where has pujols' power gone? cardnilly wants to know; he's only slugging .353 over his last 62 plate appearances. possible answers: a) just one of those things, b) getting pitched around, c) helpless w/out his steroids, or d) is really 37 years old and finally showing his age.

john sickels at Minor League Ball has a prospect retrospective on pujols --- ie, looking back on what people said about him as he came up through the minors. of course, in pujols' case he never really was "coming up"; he jumped from class A straight to the majors and immediately became a star.

which almost nobody predicted. "He was considered to be a promising bat," sickels writes, "but there were questions about his defense, and many scouts thought he was too fat. Some scouts also questioned his listed birthday of January 16, 1980." pujols made it onto the tail end of some top-50 lists, but nobody really saw this coming. there's a pretty eye-popping list of comparable players at the end of the post.

also re pujols: Beyond the Boxscore crunches the mvp numbers yet again and still finds dlee, not pujols, to provide more measurable value. interesting thing, though: they're pretty much even with the bat. the big difference lies afield, where lee is thought to be worth 15 runs over albert. that is, dlee's glove at 1st base is thought to be worth two wins more than albert pujols' glove. with all due respect, fellahs -- do you really believe that? i know that's what the numbers show, but these guys are 1st basemen, f'crineottlodd. defense has always been the most problematic factor in the sabrmetric equation, because it's the most difficult thing to strip of context -- too much of a guy's defensive stat line depends on the pitching staff's tendencies, the ballpark's configuration, the abilities of the defenders at neighboring positions, and just plain old luck. it is the most team-oriented, and least individual, aspect of a player's performance. so if that is the basis of the lee-for-mvp vote . . . . well everyone has their own way of breaking these things down, but i'm not persuaded by that one.

also re awards, here's a marlin fan's cy case for dontrelle.