Pop quiz: Pujols’ OPS

Albert Pujols, the player widely considered baseball’s best over the last several years, is having a season that’s not even close to the top on his own team, let alone throughout the majors.

(Of course, if Pujols was having another typical year and was still far from the best player on his team, St. Louis would have a 15-game division lead already. Unfortunately for Cardinals fans, Phat Albert’s 2011 performance is far from typical.)

Using the quick-and-dirty rate stat of OPS to evaluate his performance, Pujols sits at .746 going into the weekend. This compares to his lifetime value of 1.039, with previous seasons ranging from a low of .955 in 2002 to 2008’s peak of 1.114.

Perhaps even more surprisingly, Pujols’ OPS+, which takes into account league and park effects, sits at 109. The fact that the number is above the major league average is an obvious reflection of the decreased offense we’ve seen this year.

Given where Pujols currently sits in terms of straight OPS, how he has produced in the past, and how much offense is down compared to previous years, this week’s quiz question is:

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What will Albert Pujols’ final 2011 OPS be?

Below .750: He’s actually 53 years old.
.750-.850: Injuries and an overdue off year are dragging him down.
.850-.950: The inevitable decline has begun, but this is Pujols we’re talking about.
.950-1.050. He’s still one of the game’s premiere talents.
Over 1.050. Pujols is primed to go on an insane four-month, MVP-clinching surge.


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Greg has been a writer and editor for both The Hardball Times website and Annual since 2010. In his dreams, he's the second coming of Ozzie Smith. Please don't wake him up.

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Statman Crothers
Statman Crothers

the season is about 1/3 complete.

one part (750) + two parts (1000) = about 917

so even if he is just his “normal self” the rest of the season, he would only finish around 917.

to finish at 1000, he would need to perform at around 1125 OPS for the rest of the season.