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LAAMike

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Peter Keating's article in ESPN, the Magazine is a very interesting article on Albert Pujols and his decline and blames it all on his rapidly declining walk rate (although with 34 to date this year he appears to be close to reaching last year's 40 walks).  A second article which will make your head spin and show why we are all not ready to be GM's is Jerry Koo's article on SB

Nation on the Athletics and their roster moves and injuries - definitely a good read.  I did not realize that the Doolittle injury might be season ending nor did I realize the extent of the A's other

injuries. 

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Obviously from the article.  I guess I should not believe everything I read.  The article did not count his walks since August 11 and he has had 8 walks since that date.  Your point about the 99 games

last year does blow a big whole in Peter Keating's premise.   

Edited by LAAMike
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Total walks are meaningless without some sense of context. Why not look at walk rate?

 

Year: walk %, wRC+

2009: 16.4%, 180

2010: 14.7%, 164

2011: 9.4%, 147

2012: 7.8%, 133

2013: 9.0%, 112

2014: 7.3%, 126

 

There's a very clear trajectory and correlation, but to use the cliche, correlation does not necessarily equal causation. I think it is more likely that his declining walk rate and hitting decline are both symptoms of overall age-based decline. There's a clear decline from 2009 to 2012, when he was (allegedly) 29 to 32. I say "allegedly" because his decline patterns for such a great hitter, as I've said before, make much better sense if he's actualliy 2-3 years old. Since 2012 he's plateaued a bit with a dip in 2013 due to injury. But he's pretty similar in 2012 and 2014, the range of age 32-34. Again, for such a great hitter, that makes more sense if it were age 34-36 or 35-37.

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In a very similar number of plate appearances, Pujols drew more intentional walks with us in 2012 than with the Cards in 2011. While that's part of the equation in terms of Pujols declining walks, the much bigger factor is he isn't drawing unintentional walks. That, as AJ said, is simply a symptom of an overall offensive decline.

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