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Does Losing Pujols Really Matter?


Tuesday, February 21, 2012 by

What should I base my answer on? I could use RBI's, HR'S, or even BA. But lets be honest, "not all hits are created equal". A home run could cause the same change in the score as a single. Slugging percentage wont work either. Is a double worth twice as much as a single? The only real true gauge of a player like Pujols' worth is the Weighted On Base Average, or wOBA for the noobs. 

Quick lesson:

“Weighted On-Base Average (wOBA) is based on a simple concept: not all hits are created equal. Batting average would have you believe they are, but think about it: what’s more valuable, a single or a homerun? Batting average doesn’t account for this difference and slugging percentage doesn’t do so accurately. OPS does a good job of combining all the different aspects of hitting (hitting for average, hitting for power, having plate discipline) into one metric, but it weighs slugging percentage the same as on-base percentage, while on-base percentage is more valuable than slugging.”

I think it is safe to say that Albert peaked in 2008 with an OBA of 0.458 and has declined every season since then to 0.385 in 2011. Now don't get me wrong, 0.385 is still pretty sick but do the Cardinals need that to repeat?  They still have Matt Holliday (2011 - 0.388 OBA), Lance Berkman (2011 - 0.412 OBA), and Yadier Molina (2011 - 0.350 OBA). Not bad. 

In my opinion, the St. Louis Cardinals have every chance to repeat a World Series win this season despite the loss of The Machine. If the Cards play their cards right (see what I did there?) they could potentially be looking at a season with more runs scored than in 2011.  The potential that their roster holds was never more evident than in 2011 when they led the N.L. in runs despite it being one of Pujols' worst statistical years ever.  They have the power. They need the consistency. Can the home town hero David Freese be the guy?

Cardinal fans need not worry.  

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