Jaffe: Albert Pujols and the crawl to 3,000 hits

From SABR member Jay Jaffe at FanGraphs on May 3, 2018:

Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, and Alex Rodriguez: at some point soon, Albert Pujols will join this exclusive company, the list of players who have attained both the 3,000-hit and 600-home-run milestones. With a home run and a double off Dylan Bundy on Wednesday night, the 38-year-old slugger is at 2,998 hits after collecting just four in his previous seven games. His mid-April hot streak, such as it was, is a memory.

Baseball’s major milestones and records are supposed to be opportunities to celebrate careers, the totality of a player’s accomplishments, the road he took along the way, and the connection to history. But as they tip their caps, too often they remind us that the man we’re cheering is far from the player he once was. In Pujols’ case, the difference is particularly striking, as it’s almost impossible to fathom the gap between “the best player of this young millennium” and “the worst regular in the majors,” or how a single player might hold both titles at the same time. Any honest reckoning with his career, however, will take us to this uncomfortable place.

Read the full article here: https://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/albert-pujols-and-the-crawl-to-3000-hits/

Originally published: May 3, 2018. Last Updated: May 3, 2018.