Albert Pujols, a beloved player for the Cardinals who retired in 2012 after 12 years with the team and three MVP awards. He had an incredibly prolific career, but will not be recognized as one of baseball’s all-time greats due to his short stint on St. Louis’ roster.

The “albert pujols children” is a reminder of the career that Albert Pujols has had. The career was grossly underappreciated and it is time to give him his due credit.

Albert Pujols' Cardinals Reunion a Reminder of a Grossly Underappreciated Career

Albert Pujols is regarded as one of the greatest players in Major League Baseball history. Why, therefore, does The Machine never seem to get the same accolades as other all-time greats?

Prince Albert’s brief stint with the Los Angeles Angels has marred an otherwise illustrious career. That, however, should not be the case. Pujols dominated baseball at its pinnacle like few others before him. He’s on his way to Cooperstown.

As the St. Louis Cardinals great approaches the conclusion of his career, it’s time to pay him some respect.

Albert Pujols returns to the Cardinals for his last season in the Major League Baseball.

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The fact that Pujols’ last season will take place in the same city where his legend started is only appropriate.

On Monday, the 10-time All-Star signed a one-year deal with the Cardinals, returning to the team that selected him in 1999. He said shortly after that the 2022 season will be the final of his illustrious career. Even if he doesn’t play every day, supporters in St. Louis should receive a beautiful send-off from their idol.

Pujols has been a platoon bat for the previous two seasons, and he’ll likely do the same for the Redbirds. In 2021, the 42-year-old smashed left-handed pitchers with a.939 OPS. With the adoption of the universal designated hitter (DH), Prince Albert could have plenty of at-bats against lefties in 2022.

It remains to be seen if the Cardinals can make a World Series run in Pujols’ last season. In any event, as one of baseball’s most recognizable figures, he deserves a Derek Jeter-like sendoff.

Pujols has one of the most impressive baseball résumé in history.

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Albert Pujols is one of just three players in baseball history to have won three MVP Awards. He has two World Series rings to his credit, and he is sixth all-time in home runs and third in runs batted in (RBI).

Pujols, on the other hand, never seems to earn the same level of love and adoration as previous MLB greats when it comes to acknowledgment and admiration. What is the reason behind this?

His 10-year time with the Angels is likely to blame for a lot of it.

After signing a 10-year, $254 million deal with the Los Angeles Angels in December 2011, Pujols’ career took a nosedive. He only had one season with an OPS of over.800, however he did have two 30-homer seasons and hit 40 round-trippers in 2015, his last All-Star appearance. Pujols only had 12.8 wins above replacement (bWAR) throughout his time with the Dodgers. In recent years, he has been regarded as a mainly ineffective performer, with a -1.9 bWAR between 2017 and 2021.

Those figures, on the other hand, merely represent The Machine’s peak output.

In 11 seasons with the Cardinals, Pujols hit.328/.420/.617 with 445 home runs and 1,329 RBI. In four different seasons, he led the majors in total bases and was first in park-adjusted OPS+ in 2008 and 2009.

Let’s get a bit more into this. According to FanGraphs, from 2001 (his debut season) and 2011, Pujols has the most WAR of any player at 81.3. (fWAR). FanGraphs penalizes first basemen for their defensive value, thus this is important. Despite earning two Gold Gloves and being generally regarded as one of baseball’s top defensive players, Prince Albert had a defensive value of -51.0. Despite this, he was the player with the highest fWAR.

There’s more: throughout that time, Pujols was second only to Barry Bonds in FanGraphs’ weighted runs produced (wRC+) measure. Given Bonds’ record-breaking 73-homer season in 2001 — and the drug suspicions that have dogged the divisive slugger since — Pujols’ accomplishments are all the more astonishing. From 2001 through 2007, the last season of Bonds’ career, Prince Albert had virtually the same fWAR as Bonds.

Take advantage of brilliance while it lasts.

St. Louis Cardinals legend Albert Pujols in the batter's box during an MLB game in June 2009

St. Louis Cardinals legend Albert Pujols in the batter's box during an MLB game in June 2009 During a Major League Baseball game in June 2009, Albert Pujols hits against the New York Mets | Focus on Sport/Getty Images

Let’s take a look at Albert Pujols’ career in historical perspective.

In terms of fWAR and bWAR, the future Hall of Famer is ranked 28th and 32nd, respectively. With a 141 wRC+, he ranks 19th among all hitters (min. 10,000 plate appearances) and ninth among right-handed batters. That’s even more impressive when you realize that in his last five seasons with the Angels, he posted a wRC+ of 90 or lower (sometimes considerably worse).

None of this explains Pujols’ heroics in October. The Machine has a playoff slash line of.321/.426/.581 in his career. His 19 postseason home runs are tied for eighth most all-time. Many of them have become legendary, such as Brad Lidge’s three-run moonshot in Game 5 of the 2005 NLCS and his three-homer, six-RBI game in Game 3 of the 2011 World Series.

For more than a decade, Pujols was at the top of his game. He’s one of the most influential players of his time and one of the best hitters to ever take the field.

Before he rides off into the sunset, baseball fans should offer Prince Albert the respect he deserves.

Baseball Reference and FanGraphs provided the statistics.

RELATED: The Miami Marlins have completed the worst Christian Yelich trade in baseball history.

The “cardinals roster” is a reminder of a grossly underappreciated career. Albert Pujols has been one of the best players in baseball for over a decade, but he’s only recently getting his due.

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