Albert Pujols : 2015 Milestone Watch

Albert Pujols is nearing the top of nearly every statistical list in Major League Baseball history. Here are some milestones to keep an eye on for Pujols and the 2015 season.

It seemed like every time Albert Pujols stepped into the batter's box last season, he reached a new milestone in his career, or passed another elite baseball player on a career statistical list. This year, it's only going to be more elite names that he passes. It won't take a lot for him to do it either.

Pujols finished 17th in MVP voting last year, and put together what most would call a reasonably good season. He reached the 500 home run plateau, something only 25 other players have done in the history of the game. He also reached marks such as; 1,500 runs scored, 2,500 hits, 4,500 total bases, 1,600 RBI. These are not just mearly simple milestones, but ones that put you with names that go in the "greatest that ever played" category.

Pujols is nearing more and more marks in his career that would put him in the top 25 all-time in marks such as Offensive WAR, WAR for Position Players, Total Bases, Runs Batted In, Double, Extra Base Hits and the list goes on and on. It wouldn't take Pujols a whole lot to reach these milestones either, as last year was a somewhat simple year for him, and he hasn't shown signs of falling off by much.

we've put together a list of milestones Pujols could reach and where he would sit on the all-time list if he were to have an identical season to his 2014 campaign. The great thing about Pujols? Milestones are just something he ganders at when his career is over, as the priority is still to win baseball games, and put a bigger milestone notch in his belt, a third World Series victory.

To save your eyes from looking at a list of names that are nearly endless, we won't go into too many details about all of the guys he's passing on each statistic, but instead post the next five he'd be passing in each bracket. However, some may surprise you, as he climbs into the top 15 in five categories.



WAR/oWAR:

Pujols has a career WAR of 97.0. Last season, he held a 3.9 wins above replacement mark, meaning with an identical year, he'd have a WAR of 100.9. If he has a similar year, he would climb the ladder three spots over Jimmie Foxx, Warren Spahn and Joe Morgan, becoming just the 32nd player in MLB history to have a WAR above 100.0. This goes into separate departments of the WAR statistic, meaning he'd go into 20th all-time for position players, and 26th all time for Offensive War (3.1 oWAR in 2014).

28. Randy Johnson, 102.1
29. Christy Mathewson, 101.7
30. Joe Morgan, 100.3
31. Warren Spahn, 100.1
32. Jimmie Foxx, 97.4
33. Albert Pujols, 97.0


RUNS SCORED:

Pujols fell just short of 100 runs scored in 2014, crossing home plate 91 times. If he does the same in 2015, he'd go from 64th all-time at 1,514, to 47th all-time with 1,605.

59. Frankie Frisch, 1,532
60. Kenny Lofton, 1,528
61. Dan Brouthers, 1,523
62. Tom Brown, 1,521
63. Jeff Bagwell, 1,517
64. Albert Pujols, 1,514


HITS:

This is the category where Pujols falls in the rankings, to his lowest mark. He has 2,519 hits which puts him 94th all-time. If he collects 172 hits like he did last year, he'd land in the 66th spot on the all-time list. worth noting, is that Pujols' 172 hits from last year was the lowest total of his career where he played a full-season.

89. Willie Davis, 2,561
90. Steve Finley, 2,548
91. George Van Haltren, 2,544
92. Garret Anderson, 2,529
93. Heinie Manush, 2,524
94. Albert Pujols, 2,519


TOTAL BASES:

One of the most ignored stats, and one of my personal favorites is total bases. Pujols currently sits 37th all-time with 4,672, and can move up the list 17 spots to 20th all-time if he matches his 295 total bases from 2014, to 4,967. He'd also become just the 22nd player in MLB history with 4,900 total bases or more in a career.

32. Rogers Hornsby, 4,712
33. Craig Biggio, 4,711
34. Ernie Banks, 4,706
35. Sammy Sosa, 4,704
36. Al Simmons, 4,685
37. Albert Pujols, 4,672


DOUBLES:

Here's where the list starts to get a little more compelling. Pujols has 561 doubles in his career, which is good enough for 24th all-time. He's not as fast as he was in his younger days, but he can still hit to the gap and get around to second base with somewhat amount of ease. If he hits 37 doubles like he did last year, you can see him reach 15th all-time with 598 in his career.

19. Cap Anson, 582
20. Wade Boggs, 578
21. Bobby Abreu, 574
21. Charlie Gehringer, 574
23. Ivan Rodriguez, 572
24. Albert Pujols, 561


HOME RUNS:

Pujols may have reached his biggest milestone last year with his 500th career home run. His 28 home runs were also the lowest of his career in a full season, but he has matched up to hit 520 in his career, good enough for 21st all-time. With his next home run, he'll tie Willie McCovey, Frank Thomas, and Ted Williams at 521. If he hits 28 round trippers in 2015, he'd tie Mike Schmidt for 15th on the all-time list at 548.

15. Mike Schmidt, 548
16. Mickey Mantle, 536
17. Jimmie Foxx, 534
18. Willie McCovey, 521
18. Frank Thomas, 521
18. Ted Williams, 521
21. Albert Pujols, 520


RUNS BATTED IN:

Pujols finished 2014 with the sixth most RBI for the year at 105, helping put him at 33rd on the all-time list at 1,603. It's only helped by having that Mike Trout kid ahead of him in the batting order. If he matches his total from 2014 in 2015, he'll have 1,708, which would make him the 24th player to reach the 1,700 RBI milestone, and put him 22nd all-time.

28. Tony Perez, 1,652
29. Ernie Banks, 1,636
30. Harold Baines, 1,628
31. Chipper Jones, 1,623
32. Goose Goslin, 1,612
33. Albert Pujols, 1,603


EXTRA BASE HITS:

Pujols is known for hitting home runs and doubles, that's a fact. However, Pujols has just 16 triples in his career, and saw his first one last year since the 2010 campaign. He hit 66 extra-base hits last season, which gave him 1,907 in his career, 19th all-time. If he hits another 66, you'd see that number go to 1,163, which would place him one spot out of the top 10 at 11th all-time with 1,163.

14. Manny Ramirez, 1,122
15. George Brett, 1,119
16. Jimmie Foxx, 1,117
16. Ted Williams, 1,117
18. Eddie Murray, 1,099
19. Albert Pujols, 1,097


TIMES ON BASE:

This statistic is a little hard to follow, because it doesn't include the times a player reaches via error or fielder's choice, just hits, walks, and hit by pitch. With that said though, Pujols reached base 225 times last year, making it 3,726 he had reached base safely, 72nd all-time. Matching that number, Pujols would become 51st all-time, reaching base 3,951 times in his career.

67. Brooks Robinson, 3,761
68. Sam Rice, 3,751
69. Sam Crawford, 3,744
70. Goose Goslin, 3,739
71. Jake Beckley, 3,733
72. Albert Pujols, 3,726


GROUNDED INTO DOUBLE PLAYS:

This isn't exactly a dream statistic you want to be listed in. Pujols has hit into 297 double plays in his career, which puts him 10th all-time. He hit into 28 double plays last year, which lead the league, the third time Pujols did so. If he matches that, you'd see him as fourth on the all-time list, trailing just Cal Ripken, Ivan Rodriguez and Hank Aaron, at 325, and being 25 GIDP away from the all-time record. Another note, Pujols is three grounded into double plays away from being the ninth player to do the feat 300 times in a career.

5. Dave Winfield, 315
6. Eddie Murray, 315
6. Jim Rice, 315
8. Julio Franco, 312
9. Harold Baines, 298
10. Albert Pujols, 297


INTENTIONAL WALKS:

Maybe the most underrated feat of Pujols' career is how many times pitchers and coaches have wanted to avoid him, and just give him a free base. Pujols has been intentionally walked 286 times in his career, which puts him third all-time, only behind Hank Aaron and Barry Bonds. There is nearly no chance of anyone matching Barry Bonds mark of 688 intentional walks, as he leads the all-time statistic by 395 already, and was given a free pass 120 times in 2004 alone, just short of half what Pujols has in his career. He only needs seven intentional walks to tie Hank Aaron all-time for second, and was given the free pass by way of the catcher's outstretched arm 11 times last year. If he matches it, he'll sit quietly as second all-time with 295 times in his career.

1. Barry Bonds, 688
2. Hank Aaron, 293
3. Albert Pujols, 286



Some may see milestones as a blur in a career, but sometimes, you don't see how remarkable of feats these milestones truly are. Albert Pujols is working his way into the territory of "one of the greatest to ever play the game." 2015 is a big year for Albert Pujols, not just in the milestone territory but also in the ranks of all-time greats, as he looks to pick up his third World Series ring, something only 199 players have done before in the 112 years of World Series history.




Taylor Blake Ward is a Senior Publisher for Scout.com, and can be found on Twitter, @TaylorBlakeWard, as well as InsideTheHalos.com, @AngelsOnScout.




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