Pujols came into Los Angeles last year with astronomical expectations—Angels fans were initially in shock at what they first received.
"Prince Albert" began his Angels career by hitting an uncharacteristic .217 with no home runs, four RBI and only 20 hits in 92 at bats in the month of April.
Not quite what you would expect from the former 2001 National League Rookie of the Year and three-time National League MVP (2005, 2008 and 2009).
Pujols' numbers began to pick up in May (.263, eight home runs and 24 RBI) when 2012 American League Rookie of the Year Mike Trout made his appearance in the lineup.
Trout—who basically missed the first full month of the season with only 11 at bats in April—came out of the gates swinging with a .324 average, five home runs, 16 RBI, 21 runs scored and 35 hits in 108 at bats in May.
Pujols' bat subsequently came alive in June and continued to stay hot until the final month of the year. Still, he still ending the year with a .285 average, 30 home runs, 105 RBI, 85 runs scored and 173 hits in 607 at bats.
It is without a doubt though that Trout's bat and presence benefited Pujols and took a lot of pressure off of him in the middle of the lineup.
Now, with the recent addition of outfielder Josh Hamilton to the lineup in 2013, the Angels now have one of the scariest offensive lineups in all of baseball.
Not only will Hamilton's addition take further pressure off of the top of the lineup, but Pujols is now more accustomed to his new team and American League pitching. He's also rejoined by returning offensive starters Erick Aybar, Mark Trumbo, Howie Kendrick, Alberto Callaspo, Chris Iannetta and Peter Bourjos.
With all of this offensive support, I expect Pujols to have a gigantic offensive year and get back to the top of MVP voting—where he belongs.
Projected Angels Lineup:
1. Mike Trout, LF: .306 average, 29 home runs, 77 RBI, 115 runs scored, 50 stolen bases.
2. Erick Aybar, SS: .298 average, nine home runs, 64 RBI, 74 runs scored, 20 stolen bases.
3. Albert Pujols, 1B: .317 average, 45 home runs, 138 RBI, 116 runs scored.
4. Josh Hamilton, RF: .293 average, 35 home runs, 109 RBI, 91 runs scored.
5. Mark Trumbo, DH: .261 average, 31 home runs, 87 RBI, 74 runs scored.
6. Howie Kendrick, 2B: .279 average, 11 home runs, 69 RBI, 62 runs scored, 13 stolen bases.
7. Alberto Callaspo, 3B: .287 average, eight home runs, 52 RBI, 56 runs scored.
8. Chris Iannetta, C: .244 average, 13 home runs, 40 RBI, 46 runs scored.
9. Peter Bourjos, CF: .250 average, 12 home runs, 62 RBI, 58 runs scored, 15 stolen bases.
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