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Albert Pujols's Struggles Continue From Soft St. Louis Cardinals Finish

Disclaimer: Nobody who watched Albert Pujols play for the St. Louis Cardinals last year expected him to hit .208/.255/.292 through his first month in a Los Angeles Angels uniform. (Maybe hoped, but never expected.) That said, there were warning signs there for people who, spooked by his relatively human 2011, trawled FanGraphs for answers.

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For instance: Last year his O-Swing%, the percentage of pitches a batter swings at outside the strike zone, increased from 21.7% in his career to 31.8%, after a slow decrease over the years; this year's it's an incredible 40.1%. Of course, he's also making a lot of contact with them—81.5% of the time—which might explain some of the weak contact.

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That erosion of plate discipline was the biggest concern for Albert Pujols fans who expected the Cardinals to sign him to a billion-dollar contract in the offseason; now it's an I-told-you-so. On a less vindictive front, Viva El Birdos commenter and professional swing coach thepainguy thinks the problem might involve his back leg.

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