Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
HEY AL... There is
2003-06-19 13:27
by Alex Belth


There is a good write up on Alfonso Soriano and Albert Pujols over at The New York Yankees Report . In case anyone thought that Sori is in the same league as Albert, think twice, man. Soriano is a treat to watch, and a real marvel, but Pujols is nothing short of great. I linked several articles on Pujols the other day which appeared on ESPN. Here is what some of Albert's teammates have to say about him:

Matt Morris: "In Boston the other day, a lefty goes 3-0 on him, three pitches that weren't even close. The fourth pitch is a ball, too, up and way away, and he crushes it the other way. It's just unbelievable what he does. His body isn't moving all over. He makes his adjustment, throws his hands at the pitch and slams it with a real short stroke."

Hitting coach Mitchell Page: "His mind is way above his ability. Guys might have all the tools in the world, but they don't have the mind this guy has. He helps me out, with the other players. The guy has three years in the big leagues and he's saying things that people listen to. If it was Rod Carew after 15-20 years, that's one thing. But when Albert talks, people listen."

Scott Rolen: "The pitcher usually controls the at-bat, and the hitter has to make the adjustments. But Albert controls the at-bat. The pitcher has to find a way to get him out, to trick him. You can't just come in and then go away, 'cause he's gonna hammer it. You can't go up and down, 'cause he's gonna hammer it. You'd better throw three good pitches."

...During a 13-game homestand from May 26-June 8 he went 26-for-57 (.456). Near the end of that stretch was a bases-clearing double against Orioles closer Jorge Julio that won the game 8-6. "It was a 97-, 98-mile-an-hour fastball on the inside corner, and he smokes it down the line," Rolen said. "He shouldn't be able to do that with that pitch. But he pulled his hands in with an incredible knowledge of where the bat head was. He has so much confidence in his swing and his approach at the plate, he had the confidence to stay with the ball and rope it like that."

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