St. Louis Cardinals legendary first baseman Albert Pujols recalled a Rays scout once telling him that he couldn’t hit for power. Lol.
St. Louis Cardinals legendary first baseman Albert Pujols has 683 career home runs, 675 doubles and 3321 hits. He is a surefire Hall of Famer and is regarded as one of the best hitters in Major League Baseball history.
But not everyone saw it coming.
Before a recent game against the Rays, Pujols recalled a story to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch about a former Rays scout telling him that he couldn’t hit for power. Pujols, a junior college star in the Kansas City area, had been at Tropicana Field for a tryout with the Rays in 1999. One part of that workout? He was a catcher.
“I remember them saying I couldn’t hit for power,” Pujols said, via Rick Hummel. “My scout told me to pull the ball and the first thing I did was I hit a foul ball down the left-field line. I was just hitting line drives the other way. It worked out the best way – that I was drafted by the Cardinals.”
Pujols didn’t name who the scout was who told him that, but … ouch. It makes for a fascinating “What if?” scenario as to what his career would have been had he been drafted by the Rays or any other team. Thankfully for both Pujols and the Cardinals, they don’t have to worry about that, as when he’s eventually inducted into Cooperstown, he’ll be donning a Cardinals uniform alongside Yadier Molina and Adam Wainwright.
Now, young Rays star Wander Franco revealed that he wears No. 5 on a chain in honor of Pujols. He idolized the first baseman as a kid and Pujols said he was flattered by it, but something that he has become used to over the years. “It means a lot,” he told Hummel, smiling. “They ask me for a jersey or a bat.”
Considering it’s Pujols, and the type of career that he’s had, who can blame them?