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Fantasy Baseball Dugout’s 2008 MVP

Albert Pujols, 2008 Fantasy Baseball MVPFantasy Baseball Dugout spent a good part of the preseason dogging St. Louis Cardinals first baseman (and superstud) Albert Pujols. He had an elbow injury, and we didn’t feel safe about his draft status.

He did only play in 148 games this season and DID go on the DL… with a strained calf. While we told you so, consider:

We told you not to consider drafting him until the third round. We told you to barely consider him the game’s top first baseman. We ranked him the no. 5 overall player in our top 50.

WE WERE WRONG.

With an awesome finish to the season, Albert Pujols of the St. Louis Cardinals reclaimed his status as a fantasy baseball superstud. He is our choice for 2008 fantasy baseball MVP.

Albert Pujols Fantasy Baseball MVPPujols numbers on the season deserve one designation – they were Pujols-esque. While he went on the DL for only the second time in his career, Pujols had more extra-base hits (79) than strikeouts (53) and led the league with twice as many intentional walks (33) than anyone.

He is clearly the most feared hitter in the league, as he only received 46 percent of the pitches thrown to him in the strike zone. For the 8th year in a row, he had at least 30 homers and 100 RBI. This year was also the 7th time in his 8 MLB seasons he scored at least 100 runs.

Last season, in his “down” year we made such a big deal about, he scored 99 times.

On 187 hits, he hit .357 with 100 runs, 37 homers, 116 RBI, and 7 steals. Over the final month, when it counts most in fantasy baseball, Pujols totaled 33 hits, 19 runs, 9 homers, 29 RBI, and batted .359. During the final stretch of championship week, he hit .588 with 10 hits and 10 RBI.

Pujols obviously caught wind of our preseason hate parade and used it as bulletin board material all season long. “I need Tommy John surgery? Don’t draft me until round 3?! I’ll show those fantasy baseball jerks.”

Well, show us up, he did indeed. WE WILL NOT UNDERESTIMATE YOU IN 2009, MR. PUJOLS.

Congratulations on being awarded our 2008 MVP. You earned it.

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