Phat Albert: Pujols gets rare perfect score in rankings
NEW YORK -- Four days after earning a World Series ring, Albert Pujols became only the sixth player to get a perfect 100 score in the annual player rankings.
St. Louis Cardinals
The St. Louis Cardinals first baseman finished first at his position in plate appearances, batting average, on-base percentage, home runs and RBI over the 2005 and 2006 seasons, according to rankings released Tuesday by the Elias Sports Bureau.
Since the rankings were created in the settlement of the 1981 strike, the only previous players to get perfect scores were New York Yankees first baseman Don Mattingly (1987), Baltimore Orioles shortstop Cal Ripken Jr. (1991), Chicago White Sox first baseman Frank Thomas (1995), Houston first baseman Jeff Bagwell (1995) and Boston designated hitter Manny Ramirez (2002).
Rafael Furcal replaced Jimmy Rollins at shortstop, Chris Carpenter was the starting pitcher in place of Roy Oswalt and Jason Bay, Matt Holliday and Moises Alou were the top three outfielders, replacing Cabrera, Lance Berkman and Bobby Abreu.
In the AL, starting pitcher Johan Santana, reliever Mariano Rivera, catcher Victor Martinez and designated hitter Travis Hafner repeated. Alex Rodriguez was the top third baseman for the second straight year after leading shortstops for six straight seasons.
Rankings are used to decide whether players are Type A or B free agents, and what draft picks their former teams get as compensation if they sign elsewhere. The top 30 percent in each group get an A ranking, and the next 20 percent a B ranking.
Compensation from Type C players -- the group between 50 and 60 percent -- was eliminated in baseball's new labor contract. Clubs that sign Type B players won't give up any draft picks, but their former clubs will receive "sandwich" picks between rounds.
Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press