Originally written July 29, 2013 on We Talk Fantasy Sports:
The Los Angeles Angels of Aneheim are preparring to be without Albert Pujols for the remainder of the season.  Pujols could undergo surgery to repair a partial tear of his left plantar fascia.  Albert signed a 10 year, $240mil contract with Angels prior to the 2012 season.  Over the course of 253 games, Pujols has hit .275 with 47 home runs, 69 doubles and 169 RBI.  Those are not terrible number by any means, but for Albert Pujols, they are disappointing.  For $240mil they are terrible.  If he is done for the year, Albert Pujols will finish with a .258 batting average over 99 games in which he hit 17 home runs and drove in 64 runs.The last time Pujols didn't hit 30 home runs? NEVER.  Even in his rookie season, he hit 37 home runs and last seasons total (30) was the only time in his career he didn't hit at least 32 of them.  Last season, Pujols used a strong month of August in which he hit 9 of his 30 homers and drive in 24 of his 103 RBI.  I am sure many fantasy owners were just waiting for that same production out of their 1st round draft pick, in a lineup that features Mike Trout, Josh Hamilton and Mark Trumbo.  Comparing his monthly splits to last season, Albert is down in nearly every category.  In total, he has more strike outs, less hits, runs, doubles, home runs and RBI, a lower batting average, OBP, SLG and OPS.  Is this the end of this generations greatest hitter?  Are PEDs to blame for the rapid break down of a superior hitter, similar to the way Alex Rodriguez' career came crashing down?  Pujols turned 33 before the start of this season and has played in over 2000 career games, including the playoffs.  Only Ichiro Suzuki has played more baseball than Albert since his rookie season in 2001 and no one has been more valuable, not even Alex Rodriguez.  The way things are going for Albert Pujols, it's hard to imagine him still playing baseball in 2021, the year his current contract ends  How to replace PujolsIf you played CBS Fantasy Baseball, check out the Padres Yonder Alonso, the Marlins Logan Morrison, and the Mariners Justin Smoak.If you play ESPN Fantasy Baseball, check out the Piartes Garrett Jones, the Padres Yonder Alonso and the Marlins rookie prospect Christian YelichIf you play Yahoo Fantasy Baseball, check out the Mariners Kendrys Morales, the Phillies Michael Young and the Nationals Adam LaRoche
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