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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Since: Dec 18, 2010
Posted on: January 24, 2012 7:04 pm

Would You Rather Have: Pujols or Fielder?

Given a choice, I'd rather date Paula Zahn and have beers with Bob Denver

Since: Dec 18, 2007
Posted on: January 24, 2012 6:53 pm

Would You Rather Have: Pujols or Fielder?

that's funny, because Albert has two already.

Since: Dec 23, 2010
Posted on: January 24, 2012 6:50 pm

Would You Rather Have: Pujols or Fielder?

I would rather have another World Series win then either one of these two Players

Since: Oct 7, 2010
Posted on: January 24, 2012 6:45 pm

Would You Rather Have: Pujols or Fielder?

It depends on age before beauty or beauty before age, Pujols has a couple solid years 3 tops in the field then its DH all the way. Fielder has 5-7 in the field if he stays healty then DH. O.K. then comes trade bate every year every team is looking for that heavy bat to sign for safety. So the agents will restructure the contracts to fit their needs and maybe even stay on till the end and free up money for the cause. But I would go with Fielder he just has more to offer. Look at the Cards when Pujols was sidelined for that minute so I don't think the I want to win know with Pujols really holds water. But they are both incredible ball players, wonder if Cecil came into any of this?

Since: Mar 24, 2009
Posted on: January 24, 2012 6:43 pm

Would You Rather Have: Pujols or Fielder?

I'll take Pujols for 2 reasons... First, he's put up monster numbers for a longer period of time proving his consistency... Second- their overall numbers are relatively similar except for one that stands out: home runs to strike out ratio.  For his career, Pujols averages 1.58 strikeouts for each home run he's hit.  On the other hand, Fielder averages 3.38 strikouts per home run hit.  Pujols has an extraordinary low number of strikeouts while Fielder strikes out with the worst of them.  In crucial situations, I need a guy who can make contact and that guy is Pujols.

Since: Oct 13, 2006
Posted on: January 24, 2012 6:40 pm

Would You Rather Have: Pujols or Fielder?

This is about as easy as asking me would I prefer a ribeye steak or a filet mignon. While both are excellent cuts of meat and I would be grateful with either one if pushed to select between the two it would take about two seconds to decide ... filet mignon hands down.

In steak terms Albert Pujols is like the finest cut of filet mignon prepared by the best chef served at the most elegant&
nbsp;restaurant. Nothing against the Prince but he's got a little too much gristle. 

Since: Feb 9, 2008
Posted on: January 24, 2012 6:28 pm

Would You Rather Have: Pujols or Fielder?

need left handed bat

Since: Dec 7, 2006
Posted on: January 24, 2012 6:18 pm

Would You Rather Have: Pujols or Fielder?

This is a tough choice because we don’t know how each will do in the AL, in new surroundings.

I answer my question with, I want to win now. I think Pujols gives me the better chance to do that. He is an all around better player than Fielder, and I just feel that he can adjust better to the new league. Not that Fielder is gonna stink, but if I want to win now, Pujols is my first baseman.

Since: Nov 1, 2006
Posted on: January 24, 2012 6:05 pm

Would You Rather Have: Pujols or Fielder?

Fielder became a vegetarian in 2008.

Since: Feb 8, 2009
Posted on: January 24, 2012 6:05 pm

Would You Rather Have: Pujols or Fielder?

My first instinct is immediately Albert Pujols. He is more likely to stay at first base than Fielder who is more likely to DH sooner than later. Obviously Prince's weight issue could turn out like Mo Vaugh or Albert Belle and have his career shortened. Although Prince is just entering his prime years at 27 years old and is 4+ years younger which is a really big deal when you are talking about Albert's last 3 years he will be 40-41-42 while Prince's last three years he would be 34-35-36. Of course then I remind myself we are talking about Albert who is a once in a generation type hitter, a first ballot hall of famer. In most normal situations I usually would want the guy who was much younger, and wouldn't be surprised if Prince is worth it, but I think Puljos is the slightly safer bet.

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