Six games into his 10-year contract, Albert Pujols is putting up numbers that look like Drew Butera's.
Prospects for Pujols, of course, are much more favorable.
But after signing him to a deal that runs through 2021 and pays about $24 million per year, Angels fans are likely going to be watching him in the same way that Twins fans watch Joe Mauer. When he's excellent, it's great.
Pujols got two singles in 13 at-bats against the Twins and had two RBI and a .217 average as the Angels left Target Field for a weekend at Yankee Stadium. He sign the deal with the Angels after coming off the "worst" season of his career -- a .299 average, 37
6 home runs, 99 RBI, .366 on-base percentage and fifth in National League MVP voting. For perspective, Pujols had never hit below .300 during his 10 previous seasons nor had fewer than 100 RBI.
Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register wrote: "The common thread between last year and his start this season has been a tendency to roll over balls and hit ground balls – albeit, hard ground balls – to the left side. Seven of Pujols' first 21 plate appearances with the Angels ended with ground balls to either the shortstop or third base. In Monday's game against the Twins, he hit a ground ball to the third baseman in each of his four at-bats."
Here's the rest of that story, in which Pujols understates: "Not to be cocky, but I know I can hit."
The Twins will get another to see him when the Angels return to Target Field for another three games early next month.
There's at least one thing -- and probably more -- that the Twins could learn from Pujols. It's about going to New York, where the Twins will head next week and have pretty much stunk during the Gardenhire years.
"No disrespect," he said. "I look at it as just another city, another stadium."