On-Base Perception

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On pace perception: Josh Hamilton, Albert Pujols

Los Angeles Angels' Albert Pujols signals to teammates

Los Angeles Angels' Albert Pujols signals to teammates in the dugout as he warms up before a spring training game against the San Francisco Giants in Scottsdale, Ariz. (March 27, 2012) (Credit: AP)

One All Star slugger just sent his broken bat to Cooperstown. The other is praying for broken-bat hits.

It's no great thesis at this point in the season: Josh Hamilton is soaring and Albert Pujols is sinking. So when two superstars of the sport are off to starts this different, it's always interesting to see what their pace is for the rest of the season. What kind of numbers they'll end up with if they keep doing what they're doing with the frequency that they're doing it.

Hamilton has the most range in his "on pace" numbers. He averages 503 plate appearances per season, putting him on pace for 63 home runs. To look at it another way, he averages 118 games per year, which would give him about 66 home runs at his current rate. But here's the crazy number - If Hamilton played in 162 games this season, he would be on pace for 87 home runs.

Pujols, meanwhile, has none of the injury concerns that have plagued Hamilton throughout his career. So the Artist formerly known as The Machine should get about a full season - 155 games on average for him - to iron out this tougher than tough start. If he plays in his average 155 games at this rate, though, Pujols is on pace for 4.5 home runs (we'll be generous and give him five) and about 55 RBIs.

Tags: Josh Hamilton , Albert Pujols

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