Commentary

The Perfect Player

Hitting, baserunning, defense -- there isn't much Albert Pujols can't do on the field

Updated: July 13, 2009, 12:13 PM ET
By Tim Kurkjian | ESPN The Magazine

Cardinals manager Tony La Russa has called Albert Pujols "the perfect player,'' which covers it all, says it all.

Such an acclamation has been reserved for maybe a handful of players in baseball history, including Willie Mays and Hank Aaron, for it goes beyond the five-tool player, it goes beyond the complete player, it describes a player with no weaknesses.

That is Albert Pujols. So, we spoke to four former players, three of them Hall of Famers, about the brilliance of Pujols as a hitter -- one view from a hitter, one from a pitcher -- a defensive player and a baserunner.

When we were done talking with all four, it was clear that as good as we knew Pujols is, he's a better player than we thought.

Click on one of the four areas:

Hitting | Pitching to Pujols | Defense | Baserunning