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Albert Pujols spoke on what he believes will ultimately hold him back from reaching 800 home runs.
Albert Pujols’ glory days are well behind him. That has been true for much of his tenure with the Los Angeles Angels that began back in 2012.
But the slugger did make MLB history last season by hitting his 662nd career home run. He is now ranked fifth all time and passed Willie Mays’ mark of 660. Pujols hit 37 home runs as a rookie and was on a historic pace during his time with the St. Louis Cardinals. He then began to slow down in Los Angeles and also dealt with injuries.
Pujols recently spoke about his past pace and how he could have retired as the all-time leader in home runs.
Albert Pujols wonders what could have been
Pujols mentioned keeping up with the pace he established in St. Louis. He hit 445 home runs there in 11 seasons. So far in Los Angeles he only has 217 in nine seasons. This lessened production may be why St. Louis let him walk after he spent over a decade in town.
Pujols has also missed time due to an assortment of injuries with the Angels. He only appeared in 99 games back in 2013 and started missing more time in 2018 and 2019. The player who was once able to hit 40 home runs with ease has only reached that mark once with the Angels.
Keeping up such a historic pace is no easy task and it’s not like Pujols is the only one who slowed down with time. He was in the prime of his career in St. Louis and then the Angels jumped in and essentially paid for past production.
Pujols’ contract is up after this season and he may want to continue playing elsewhere in search of more home run records. Finding a team to put him in the everyday lineup may end up being a challenge given his declining play that serves as an albatross of a contract for the Angels.