MLB News: Cardinals Albert Pujols, 2011 Draft, Golden Spikes

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Albert Pujols Does NOT Hit Walk-Off HR

It is true, Pujols did not hit a third consecutive walk-off HR last night, but that’s most likely due to the fact that the St. Louis Cardinals didn’t have a game. As summer rolls comes around, so does Albert’s bat. Take a look at some of these stats courtesy of Post-Dispatch Sports Columnist, Bryan Burwell:

In his last 27 at-bats, Pujols is batting .444 with 12 hits, five home runs and 11 RBIs. Historically, he loves the month of June. Just a quick sampling of some of the June blitzes he has had at the plate: As a rookie, he hit .330 with five home runs and 16 RBIs. In 2003, in 119 at-bats, he batted .428 with eight homers and 29 RBIs. In ’05, in 100 at-bats, he hit .370 with eight homers and 22 RBIs. In ’07 it was a .326 average with seven homers and 21 RBIs, and over the last three consecutive Junes, dating back to ’08, he batted .308 with 23 homers and 63 RBIs in 234 plate appearances.

In other words, when the weather heats up, so does Pujols.

We haven’t heard much about the Pujols contract situation lately, but make no mistake about it, this issue will be front and center after the trade deadline. It will be interesting to see how Albert performs day in and day out down the stretch with all the contract talk. 

Pitchers Dominate First Round of 2011 MLB Draft

Pitchers had been taken with the top two picks in the Draft on just two prior occasions (in 1976 and 2006). On Monday night, the top four players taken were pitchers

  1. PIT, RHP, Gerrit Cole
  2. SEA, LHP, Danny Hultzen
  3. ARI, RHP, Trevor Bauer
  4. BAL, RHP Dylan Bundy

In all, nineteen pitchers — 13 right-handers and six left-handers — went in the first round, which put this Draft one shy of the record set in 1999 and equaled in 2001. It will be interesting to see how changes implemented for the 2012 MLB Amateur Draft affect things as Bud Selig seems hell bent on a worldwide MLB draft along with a hard slotting system.

Here’s MLB’s coverage of the entire first round along with continuing coverage.

Golden Spikes Award Finalists Named

A field of 30 candidates for the 2011 USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award, given annually to the best player in amateur baseball, has been narrowed to three junior pitchers.

USA Baseball announced on Monday that right-hander Trevor Bauer of University of California, Los Angeles; left-hander Danny Hultzen of the University of Virginia; and right-hander Taylor Jungmann of the University of Texas received the most votes last week from a nearly 200-person committee. No previous GSA finalist class had been exclusively made up of pitchers. This is the 34th consecutive year the award has been given.

So that makes three pitchers finalists for the Golden Spikes Award and more than 63% of the first round talent chosen in the MLB draft pitchers as well (including the top four). It’s not often that you can say that the happenstance of two items is a trend, but this is….

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