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11 months agoLos Angeles Angels first baseman Albert Pujols has become a victim of the abundance of defensive shifts in baseball. From 2015 to 2018, Pujols has 403 hard-hit outs, which is the most in baseball. His average exit velocity of 90.3 mph ranks fourth among hitters with at least 1,700 batted balls during that stretch, according to StatCast. However, his batting average on balls in play (BABIP) is just .245, tied for lowest in the majors over that time. Pujols is no longer the great hitter he once was, but the modern game has been unforgiving to older hitters. Pujols' career batting average has dropped nearly four points per season since he joined the Angels in 2011. Teams are shifting against him 38 percent of the time since 2016, the second most among right-handed hitters with at least 1,000 plate appearances. He's hitting just .219 against the shift, 26 points below the league average. Pujols still has three years left on his 10-year contract, but he said he's willing to calling it quits when he's no longer competitive in the game. The good news is the future first-ballot Hall of Famer has stayed healthy and continues to play first base regularly. He's hitting .254/.290/.428 with 17 home runs, 55 RBI and 42 runs scored. That's still useful in a lot of mixed leagues.--Keith Hernandez - RotoBaller
Source: ESPN Los Angeles - Alden Gonzalez
Next Matchup:   6/25  |  vs. CIN    (Tyler Mahle - RHP)   |  10:07 PM ET
Matchup Rating:   PREMIUM   ---

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