Mike Trout has had better overall production than Albert Pujols with the Los Angeles Angels over the past two seasons, but Albert Pujols is still Albert Pujols. The 34-year-old slugger is one of the greatest hitters to ever play. He’s also the only player in MLB history to bat at least .300 with at least 30 home runs and 100 RBI in his first 10 seasons.
Trout, who has been healthier than Pujols in recent years, has established himself as one of the best players in the game. That doesn’t mean he can be compared to Pujols just yet, and Albert was beyond offended when a reporter asked him earlier this offseason if he is motivated to put up the same numbers as Trout.
“Can you imagine someone saying that to me?” Pujols told USA Today Sports when recalling the question. “I felt like saying, ‘Come on, are you serious? Are you really asking me that? Check out my numbers. I know what Mike Trout has done in his first two years is pretty special, but will you look at my numbers. I’ve been doing this for almost 14 years.’
“The only guy in baseball who can match the numbers I’ve put up is Barry Bonds, and someone is actually asking if I can put up numbers like Mike Trout? Are you freaking kidding me?”
While Pujols certainly has a point, the fact that he and Trout share the same locker room makes his reaction a bit awkward. You can understand his not wanting to be compared to a 22-year-old kid, but that kid is his teammate. It’s not like Pujols was compared to some minor leaguer in the Miami Marlins’ system.
“He’s a great kid who always wants to learn and is so humble,” Pujols says. “But if it takes someone comparing me to Mike Trout to motivate me, it’s time for me to get out of the game.”
Relax, big fella. Pujols’ foot injury has scared Angels fans to the point where they are already starting to call his massive contract a mistake. If Trout is still Trout in 2014 and Pujols can get back to being Pujols, the Angels have a chance to make a run in the American League.
H/T Big League Stew