For the first 11 years of his career,
“All he has to do is be healthy,” La Russa said Sunday, before Game 4 of the
"If he's healthy, there will be no better hitter in either league. He didn't do this accidentally for 11 years."
In the first two years of his $240-million contract with the Angels, Pujols has had the worst two seasons of his career. The three-time
Pujols will be 34 when next season opens. In 2009, the last of his MVP seasons, he batted .327 with 47 home runs, 135 runs batted in, and a 1.101 OPS. In 2012, his only full season with the Angels, he batted .285 with 30 homers, 105 RBI and an .859 OPS.
His batting average, home run total and OPS have declined in each of the past four years.
In Pujols' first two years with the Angels, Trout has established himself as the best hitter on the team, and one of the best hitters in the league.
"Trout can be tied with Albert for best player," La Russa said. "Nothing wrong with being that good."