At 42 years old, the aging star is in the final stretch of his playing career.
Pujols is set to retire at the end of this season, closing the curtain on one of the most prolific careers of the 21st century.
However, there is one milestone still standing in front of Pujols: 700 home runs.
With a two-homer game on Sunday, he sits just 11 shy of reaching the plateau.
ALBERT PUJOLS THREE-RUN HR 😱
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) August 14, 2022
He is only on pace to finish the season with 14 though, as he’d fall seven shy.
While the number may have seemed out of reach before, is there a chance he can reach it?
There have been sudden glimpses that he may be heating up, finding his power stride in the second half.
With the season winding down, the legend has one final chance to go on a storybook run.
Here is why Pujols may be able to get it done.
Most Productive He’s Been
At this point in his career, Pujols understands his role on the Cardinals.
He is no longer a middle of the order bat that is going to play every day.
Instead, he has crafted himself into a dominant hitter against left-handed pitching.
In 77 at-bats against lefties, Pujols is hitting .351 with six home runs and a 1.049 OPS.
On the other hand, he is hitting just .176 with four home runs against right-handed pitching.
The splits are staggering and do not play in Pujols’ favor.
However, this may not be a bad thing.
If he can stay within himself and within his approach, there could be a chance to hit home runs.
The Cardinals will face their share of lefties down the home stretch, while he will likely make more spot starts as the playoffs near.
This will especially be the case if the Cardinals continue pulling ahead in their divisional race.
With his 115 OPS+, Pujols is hitting above league average for the first time since 2016.
Maybe, just maybe he still has it in him.
Flashback to when Albert Pujols hit 3 HR in Game 3 of the 2011 World Series pic.twitter.com/iV16bdnawE
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) March 28, 2022
Need A Little Luck…And Avoiding The Slump
If Pujols hopes to get this done, he will need to have a little luck.
He would benefit greatly if the Cardinals lined up against more left-handed starters down the stretch.
With his season splits, it is safe to assume that he will start in every game the Cardinals face a lefty.
This could net him around 40 more at-bats which, by his current rates, would be about another three homers.
Albert Pujols with one last homer at Coors before his retirement pic.twitter.com/9WG4kkAJeD
— Mr Matthew CFB (@MrMatthewCFB) August 11, 2022
That alone would obviously not get him there.
However, if that number continues to get bumped up as the Cardinals run into more left-handed pitching, then those totals might jump.
He will also need to figure it out against righties.
Obviously he is a far cry from his younger self, but he is too good of a hitter to struggle so mightily against right-handed pitching.
With his days on the diamond limited, it may allow him to lock in more against those arms and go on a run.
Don’t forget that he is in a hot streak now, hitting six homers in his last 19 games.
This may also allow him to avoid the dreaded milestone slump.
Many times, when people approach such a milestone, the pressure and anxiety to reach it can cause a slump.
This simply isn’t an option for Pujols.
700 Is Possible
With all this in mind, 700 isn’t an impossible feat.
After all, it is Albert Pujols.
The face of a generation deserves a final run at glory, truly cementing his legacy among the sport’s all-time greats.
Albert Pujols is all of a sudden scorching hot. Does he have a shot at reaching 700 home runs?
— Danny Vietti (@DannyVietti) August 15, 2022
While it may be a dream built from a fairy tale, it is something that could invigorate the game of baseball, its fans, and the city of St. Louis.
It will be interesting to see how the Cardinals handle it, but Pujols can force their hand by continuing to swing a hot bat.
If he can hit a productive patch, there is no reason to believe that the surefire Hall of Famer can’t reach 700.