Albert Pujols ties Alex Rodriguez for 4th place on MLB’s all-time HR list at 696 | News, Scores, Highlights, Stats & Rumors
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Albert Pujols added another milestone to his historic career after tying Alex Rodriguez on Major League Baseball’s all-time home run list.
The St. Louis Cardinals slugger hit his 696th homer in the top of the sixth inning of Saturday’s game against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Casey Drottar @CDrottar19
Home run n°696 for Albert Pujols pic.twitter.com/NbVhGyJ1cX
After spending the past few seasons looking like a shell of himself, Pujols has rejuvenated since signing a one-year contract to return to St. Louis in March.
It seemed like any chance the 42-year-old would be a big-league positive contributor was passed going into 2022. He was designated for assignment by the Los Angeles Angels in May 2021 after hitting .242/.291 /.406 in 436 games with them from 2017-20.
The Los Angeles Dodgers awarded Pujols a one-year contract after allowing the waivers. He showed good power with 12 home runs and a .460 hitting percentage, mostly as a pinch hitter in 85 games.
Upon signing with the Cardinals as a free agent, Pujols also announced that the 2022 season would be his last.
In all likelihood, the 11-time star player will end his career as the fourth most prolific homer hitter in MLB history. Babe Ruth is in third place with 714 homers.
Expectations for Pujols in Saint-Louis were understandably mixed. His return to the franchise where he became a superstar made for a great story, but there was no indication that it would be more than a chance for Cardinals fans to give him one last send off before retirement.
Instead of just making one last major league run, he discovered the fountain of youth. He didn’t return to his prime when he finished in the top 10 in NL Most Valuable Voting in each of his first 11 seasons, but few expected that from a 42-point designated hitter. year.
Pujols entered Saturday’s game averaging .258/.333/.500 with 16 home runs and 43 RBIs out of 244 at-bats. He’s on course to post his highest batting average since 2012 (.285), highest on-base percentage and slugging percentage since 2011 (.366 / .541).
The secret to his success in 2022 has been to set the left-handed throw on fire. He ranks second in MLB in OPS (1.180) against lefties, behind Cardinals teammate Paul Goldschmidt (1.379).
Going into Saturday’s game, Pujols has also been one of MLB’s best hitters since the All-Star break. The three-time NL MVP has a .326/.387/.695 slant line and 10 home runs in 95 at-bats.
His rise to prominence coincided with the Cardinals’ takeover of NL Central. They went 31-14 from the All-Star break to open an 8.0-game lead over the Milwaukee Brewers.
It seems likely that Pujols will have one last chance to win a third World Series title with the Cardinals. He previously helped the franchise win championships in 2006 and 2011.