He added, “My mind isn’t even there. I’m thinking of staying focused and healthy and hopefully trying to help this ball club win this year and that’s it. At the end of the year, when I feel like this is it, I’ll make it known. “
Whenever Pujols and Cabrera – who will turn 38 in April – retire, the decline in active leaders in some categories can be huge. Not only are they way ahead of their contemporaries in many stats, but some of the closest players to them are also getting closer to their own goals.
Pujols starts this season with 3,236 hits and Cabrera with 2,866 hits has a good shot on his goal of 3,000. The only other players with 2,000 or more are Robinson Cano (2,624) suspended for the entire 2021 season;; Nick Markakis (2,388), 36 years old and considering opting out in 2020; and Yadier Molina (2,001), a 36-year-old catcher who doesn’t seem to be long in coming. This leaves open the possibility that the active scoring leader in 2022 is an unlikely player like Ryan Braun of the Milwaukee Brewers (1,963) or Joey Votto of the Cincinnati Reds (1,908).
Among the players 30 or younger, Washington Nationals ‘Starlin Castro (1,633) and Houston Astros’ Jose Altuve (1,610) are the active leaders, but anyone who makes a run of 3,000 seems out of the way. Mike Trout long ago surpassed Pujols and Cabrera as the game’s best batsman, but thanks to a high number of walks and an overall change in the style of play, the 29-year-old trout hasn’t even scored 150 hits in a season since 2016, with 1,380 career hits , Trout looks like a long shot at 3,000 for now.
The declines in active managers in other categories are just as extreme.
In the home races, Pujols (662) and Cabrera (487) are well ahead of Edwin Encarnacion (424), Nelson Cruz (417) and Braun (352). The top player who can reasonably be described as still in his prime is Giancarlo Stanton of the Yankees, whose 312 career homers have him less than halfway to Pujols at age 31.