Blog Entry

Would You Rather Have: Pujols or Fielder?

Posted on: January 24, 2012 4:25 pm
 


By Matt Snyder


Two superstar first basemen helped lead NL Central teams into the playoffs in 2011. In 2012, each will be playing in the American League.

Albert Pujols signed a whopping 10-year, $254 million contract to leave St. Louis and head to the Angels. Several weeks later (today), Prince Fielder accepted a nine-year, $214 million deal to join the Detroit Tigers.

We long had this matchup slated to run at some point in this Would You Rather Have series, but wanted to hold off until the dollar figures were known. Obviously if Fielder signed for half what Pujols did -- especially being younger -- he'd be the choice. But we now have contracts that are essentially apples to apples, as they're close enough in average annual value. 

Would You Rather Have
The case for Pujols

Ever since Barry Bonds retired, Pujols has been either the consensus best player in baseball or the runner-up (at times Alex Rodriguez was considered superior). Pujols has won three MVPs and finished in the top 10 of MVP voting every single season of his career -- and the top five all but one time. He already has 445 home runs and sports an absurd 1.037 career OPS (170 OPS-plus).

On top of all the considerable damage Pujols can do with his bat, he's a well-rounded player. He's widely regarded as an exceptional baserunner and an above average defender. He's certainly a much better defender than Fielder, so leave the puns alone.

Pujols also doesn't have the weight concerns many attach to Fielder.

The case for Fielder

He's no slouch with the bat himself. In only six full seasons -- and change -- Fielder has 230 homers and a .929 OPS. Last season he hit 38 home runs and drove home 120. For the third consecutive season, Fielder drew more than 100 walks, too, so his plate discipline can rival that of Pujols. And Fielder does have three top-four finishes in MVP voting in the past five seasons.

Despite concerns about weight, Fielder trumps Pujols in the durability category. Prince has only missed one game in the past three seasons combined. In his six full seasons, Fielder has averaged 160 games played. And that's a segue to the age issue.

Prince Fielder is only 27 -- he'll turn 28 this May. Albert Pujols just turned 32. And Pujols' contract is one year longer.

So, obviously Pujols would have been the choice for this past decade, but what about the decade to come?

Our call

I'm sticking with Pujols in a ridiculously difficult choice. Each player probably switches to designated hitter around the same time and I'll take Pujols' defense as the separation point in the next few years.

Fan Vote:



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Comments

Since: Jan 24, 2012
Posted on: January 24, 2012 9:54 pm
 

Would You Rather Have: Pujols or Fielder?

I'm glad you have no ideal what you are talking about when it comes to Fielder, he is not even in his prime yet.


Lets see he hit .299, 38Hr, 120 RBI's and on OBP .415 which was second in the league, and all you got is waddles like a duck and hands are shrubs.


Why don't you stop commenting on things you don't have a clue on what you are talking about     



Since: May 23, 2008
Posted on: January 24, 2012 9:53 pm
 

Would You Rather Have: Pujols or Fielder?

Given that Pujols will have no protection in Anaheim, Fielder. Fielder, say hello to Miguel Cabrera. Pujols, you can have Vernon Wells... or maybe Abreu if you can give him some of your magic jumping beans.


I think the question is in a vaccuum. It matters not who has better protection to this answer. The question is who do you want to see hitting in front of or behind BOMBtista?? I take Pujols and it's not close. But I would have loved to see Prince here!!



Since: Dec 17, 2011
Posted on: January 24, 2012 9:48 pm
 

Would You Rather Have: Pujols or Fielder?

How about neither. Both signings were horrible. Neither player is worth even remotely close to the amount the got and just like Arod contract shows, these playeres can deteriorate real fast. Bad job both teams.



Since: Apr 1, 2007
Posted on: January 24, 2012 9:47 pm
 

Would You Rather Have: Pujols or Fielder?

You are kidding by asking that question, right? Pujols is the best player of his generation. Fielder wasn't even the best player on his Brewers team and won't be on the Tigers. Pujols achievements to date have matched those considered to be the greatest of the greats of all time. Fielder has had decent years but never been considered great. Pujols has turned himself into a gold glove 1st baseman. He has been the most feared hitter in baseball the past few years. The numbers speak for themselves. Fielder is a nice player to have in your lineup, but in truth is not on the same level as Albert Pujols. Noone is.



Since: Sep 7, 2006
Posted on: January 24, 2012 9:42 pm
 

Would You Rather Have: Pujols or Fielder?

I'd rather have them both in the American League and not in the NL Central.  LOL
 



Since: Sep 7, 2006
Posted on: January 24, 2012 9:40 pm
 

Would You Rather Have: Pujols or Fielder?

Priceless!!!!!!!!!!LOL
 



Since: Oct 20, 2006
Posted on: January 24, 2012 9:39 pm
 

Would You Rather Have: Pujols or Fielder?

Hey Boston_9...I agree.

But at first I thought about "Juan Gonzalez"!

LOL 



Since: Oct 20, 2006
Posted on: January 24, 2012 9:36 pm
 

Would You Rather Have: Pujols or Fielder?

The question is complicated.

Who would I rather have for the next three or four years?  As Matt Snyder points out, Albert Pujols is a better defender and baserunner, and regularly hits for a higher average. Straight up with no regard for "tread left on the tires", I'll take Albert. I'd definitely rather have Albert than Prince Fielder over the next few seasons. Prince won't hit .330, but has a career average of .282 and a career OPS of .929. Over 7 seasons his average year is 37HR, 106RBI and .282 with the aforementioned OPS of .929. 

Albert's average season over 11 full years is 42HR, 126RBI and .328. And an otherworldly OPS of 1.037! (All numbers courtesy of BaseballReference.com.) 

But Prince Fielder is 5 years younger than Albert. So, over the term of each player's contract, I think that I'll probably get more overall with Prince than with Albert. Prince Fielder is pretty heavy, which would make one think he might not last long. But he has been more durable by a longshot than Albert over the six full years he has been a regular, averaging 160 games out of 162. Will the weight affect this durability in an adverse way? It might.

All said, Albert Pujols is clearly a first ballot Hall of Famer. Prince Fielder may be one, but it is no slam dunk like Albert. My Tigers just signed Prince, but I have to take Albert given a choice of either player.

 



Since: Nov 22, 2011
Posted on: January 24, 2012 9:29 pm
 

Would You Rather Have: Pujols or Fielder?

Lets be serious, Albert Pujols hands down. There is no question about it.



Since: Nov 24, 2009
Posted on: January 24, 2012 9:13 pm
 

Would You Rather Have: Pujols or Fielder?

I hope that is a rhetorical question. Pujols is the obviouos answer. Fileder is a liability in the field and likely will not ever hit .330. That being said I am happy for the Tigers and would be ecstatic to have his bat in my lineup.



The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com