St. Louis Cardinals: Five Most Recent MVP Winners
Albert Pujols-First Base
Albert Pujols is the most recent St. Louis Cardinal to be named MVP. He accomplished this three times during his tenure in St. Louis.
The most recent MVP win came in 2009 where he played in 160 games, slashing .327/.443/.658. He also brought home the Silver Slugger that year. This was the best year of his career, as he led the league in seven categories, including runs (124), home runs (47), on base percentage (.443), and intentional walks (44).
Pujols was also honored with an MVP award in 2008 and 2005. Statistically, 2008 was not as good for Albert numbers, but it was still impressive. He finished with 37 homers, and led the league in five categories. His batting average for the 2008 season was an astounding .357.
The first MVP win of his career came in 2005. Pujols had 41 homers and led the league in runs and intentional walks that season. He also stole a career-high 16 bases during that season. At 25 years of age, he slashed .330/.430/.609 in 161 games.
Pujols is tied with one other Cardinal for MVP wins. And even with the way he left St. Louis Cardinals fans, he is one of the best to ever wear the uniform. In terms of Wins Above Replacement (WAR), MVPs are traditionally awarded to players receiving WARs above an eight. Albert was ranked higher than an eight in seven of his seasons with the St. Louis Cardinals.
WAR is the most-used sabermetric stat to show the value of a player. So, for Pujols to consistently be posting the numbers he did is amazing. In total, for his 11 seasons in St. Louis, Pujols had a WAR of 86.4.
With nine All-Star appearances, five Silver Sluggers, two Gold Gloves, and a Rookie of the Year all won in St. Louis, Pujols is a player who will go down in St. Louis Cardinals history. Since his move to LA, his career has gone downhill. Whether it be because of age, or some other reason, his best years were undoubtedly in a St. Louis Cardinals uniform.