The Angel lineup has hardly been the unstoppable juggernaut that many projected it would be coming into the 2013 season. There are a multitude of reasons for this but one of them has not been Albert Pujols, a nice change from the Halos' early offensive struggles from the season before. In fact, it appears that one of the unnoticed positives from an otherwise dismal April for the Angels is that Albert Pujols is showing signs of a bounceback season.
Now, calling it a bounceback after a year in which Pujols hit 30 homers and posted a .394 wOBA is probably not the normal notion of a bounceback season, but we are talking in relative terms here. While Albert was still very productive in 2012, one of the big storylines underscoring his numbers was a stark decline in his plate discipline numbers.
2012 was a year in which Pujols swung at a career-high percentage of pitches, 65.1%, with much of that spike coming in the form of an alarming propensity for chasing pitches out of the zone. Not only was this the third consecutive season that The Machine's plate discipline numbers trended towards being less disciplined, it was also a huge jump in a bad way for those numbers. As a result, there were many a question asked about how quickly Pujols might be headed for an overall decline in his productivity.
Well, good news for the Angels, it appears that reports of Albert's demise have been greatly exaggerated, well demise of his approach at the plate, anyway. Thus far in 2013, Pujols has looked a lot like his old self. Maybe not his old, back in his prime self, but at least the hitter he was three years ago when the erosion of his discipline began.no comments