He's been that bad since about June/July of last season. Just a terrible hitter and it happened so suddenly.
His August/September actually wasn't too bad. I mean, he K'd a lot but he hit for some pop. Problem is when a guy is as free swinging as he is you're gonna be more prone to falling into terrible slumps. Considering he's one of the most free swinging players in the game pitchers are gonna pitch away and make him swing himself out. He never was a heavy walk guy but last year he at least had a decent walk rate but just K'd too much. He's also making worse contact. His line drive rate is only 19%, while he was consistently 21% throughout his career. He's also hit popups in 9% of his appearances, which is awful and much higher than his career worst or career totals.
Don't know if he's pressing because of his huge contract, causing him to chase pitches that aren't good and making weak contact, or if his skills have just diminished that rapidly. I wanna lean toward the former since he is such a feast or famine player and can really carry a team for 3 weeks or so when hot, but already being 32 this could just be your typical decline of a player.
EDIT: He's been using Hunter there throughout the year, this must've just been one of his days off. Truly I'd like to see him put Cabrera at 2 and see how an AJax/Cabrera 1-2 leadoff combo would work, but with Leyland in his old school ways that will never happen. Plus, Hunter hasn't been awful at #2.
Yeah I saw the Angels were gonna have something like 97 million locked up between Pujols/Hamilton/Wilson/Weaver in 2016ish. Laughed. Fuck them.
Although that begs the question, if you were the Angels and could cut one of those contracts out of your organization scot-free, who would it be? I'd say Pujols just because of how many years and how much it's owed. Although Hamilton may be worse for the next 4-5 years, at least it's not ridiculously long term like Pujols's who is already breaking down with injuries.
Yes but the skills that made him the best player in the 00's -- his top notch baserunning and defense -- have diminished greatly. That KILLS a lot of his value. Most projections only have him slightly above "starter" average for war (mid 2's), that's not a great return in your investment if you're LAA.
Really was a crazy deal when he signed it, now looks absolutely awful. Especially when you look 2-3 years from now.
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Pujols is definitely the more reliable hitter, but the length of that contract is horrifying. More so for a team in the Angels that already have a "natural DH" in Trumbo. Making Pujols into the nearly-everyday DH is the obvious long-term solution even if his value is obviously monstrously diluted from that move (hell, they've already almost gone there this season), but if I were an Angels fan I'd be fearful every time a ball was hit in the vicinity of Trumbo. Although it looks like he's a better defender so far this season than he's been in the past (may very well just be small sample size wonkiness, though).
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