Albert Pujols Biography
José Alberto Pujols was born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic on January 16, 1980. He is a Major League Baseball player with the St. Louis Cardinals and is also renowned for his consistent and powerful hits as one of the best offensive players in baseball currently, possibly of all time.
Albert Pujols' main position is first base, and in recent times, he has also become a competent defensive player. . On August 5th, 2005, Pujols became the first MLB batter to hit 30 home runs and more in each of his initial five seasons. August 31st rolls by and Albert becomes the baseball player since the great Ted Williams player to reach the 100 RBI mark in each of his first five seasons
Pujols' family emigrated to the United States in the early 1990s. From the Dominican Republic to Independence, Missouri via a brief stop in New York City. Now firmly entrenched in US culture and sports, Pujols finally focused and settled on baseball, batting in excess of .500 in his high school baseball's first season.
Upon graduating high school, Pujols attended Maple Woods Community College near Kansas City. During his community college baseball's first season , Pujols showed exactly what he was capable of, hitting a superb grand slam, turning an unassisted triple play in his first game and batting an .461 average for the rest of the year.
In the 13th round of the 1999 MLB draft, the St. Louis Cardinals drafted Albert Pujols. However, he opted to play in the Kansas Jayhawk League in Kansas instead, turning down a $10,000 bonus. By 1999 summers end, the Cardinals decided to increased the initial bonus offer to $60,000 instead and Pujols finally signed with the Cardinals, where he has been with since.
In the 2000 season, Pujols was assigned to the Peoria Chiefs of the single-A Midwest League, winning that leagues MVP award. Pujols soon advanced right up the ranks of the St. Louis farm clubs,initially in the high-A Carolina League Potomac Cannons and then ending with in the Class AAA Pacific Coast League Memphis Redbirds. Pujols hit .367 with two home runs in just seven games in the Redbirds 2000 playing season.
2001 spring training rolls around and the Cardinals had plans and high hopes for Pujols to join the Major Leagues. Mark McGwire, Edgar Rentería, Fernando Viña, Jim Edmonds Ray Lankford, and J. D. Drew were just some of the all star talents on display at the Cardinals. An injury to Bobby Bonilla meant Pujols was given a spot on the roster and ended up playing first base on Opening Day against Denver's Colorado Rockies. In the season's second series, Pujols hit a home run, 3 doubles and 8 superb runs against the Arizona Diamondbacks. This cemented his name on the team sheet.
In May, Albert Pujols was named National League Rookie of the Month. In June, NL manager Bobby Valentine had no problems calling him up to the Major League Baseball All-Star Game. Pujols was incidentally the first rookie Cardinal to be named in the team since 1955. In his amazing rookie season, Pujols helped the Cardinals earn a National League Central Division title draw. For the 2001 season, Albert Pujols batted an amazing .329/.403/.610 with 37 home runs (!)and 130 runs batted in. He was deservingly awarded the National League Rookie of the Year.
In 2002, Pujols suffered initially from the infamous 2nd season syndrome as teams and pitchers soon analyzed and learned to pitch against him. Pujols however shrugged this off and ended the season well, hitting .314/.394/.561 with 34 homers and 127 RBIs.
The Cardinals finished 1st in the NL Central in what was ultimately a difficult campaign as they suffered the deaths of Darryl Kile (pitcher) and Jack Buck (team announcer). The Cardinals managed to defeated the Diamondbacks in the first round of the playoffs, but eventually lost out to the San Francisco Giants in the race for the NL Championship series.
Pujols stormed back in 2003 and had his best season so far, batting .359/.439/.667 with 43 home runs and 124 RBIs. Although the Cardinals failed to make the playoffs, Pujols won the National League batting title and also finished 2nd to the powerful Barry Bonds in the 2003 MVPs.
Pujols suffered niggly hamstring problems in 2004, but still managed to hitb.331/.415/.657 with 46 home runs and 123 RBI. He was the 2004 MVP of the National League Championship and reached the World Series, where they lost to the resurgent Boston Red Sox. Pujols appeared on the front cover of MVP Baseball 2004 by EA Sports.
Pujols cemented career highs in walks and stolen bases in 2005. He lead his team in nearly every offensive category. Pujols finished with a .330 batting average, .430 on-base percentage, .609 slugging percentage, 41 home runs, a grand slam, 117 RBIs, 97 walks and 16 stolen bases. Pujols also hit a 200th career homer.
Due to incessant leg injuries, he finished with 38 doubles, a career-low. Pujols hit a memorable home run in game 5 during the Cardinals run in the National League Championship Series. Pujols ended the season on a personal high note, winning his first National League MVP award.
Pujols suffered an oblique strain on June 3, 2006 when he chased a foul pop fly. Pujols was subsequently placed on the 15 day disabled list, the first time he had suffered a long term injury in his career. At the time of writing, Albert Pujols has 25 home runs and 65 RBI. He is on target to break the records held by Barry Bonds (73 HRs) and Hack Wilson (191 RBI) in a single season.