Phat Albert: Pujols gets rare perfect score in rankings

Updated: October 31, 2006, 6:18 PM ET
Associated Press

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.

First Base
St. Louis Cardinals

Profile
2006 SEASON STATISTICS
GM HR RBI R OBP AVG
143 49 137 119 .431 .331

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).

Pujols was the top NL first baseman for the third straight year after finishing among the top three outfielders in 2003. Catcher Michael Barrett and reliever Billy Wagner also repeated.

Chase Utley replaced Mark Loretta at second, and Miguel Cabrera took over from Aramis Ramirez at third. Cabrera was among the top three outfielders in 2003.

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.

Paul Konerko replaced Mark Teixeira at first base, Brian Roberts took over from Placido Polanco at second, and Michael Young followed Derek Jeter at shortstop.

Ramirez was among the top three outfielders for the 10th time in 11 years, and Vladimir Guerrero repeated. Abreu, acquired by the Yankees in July, replaced teammate Hideki Matsui.

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