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.
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).
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
repeated. Alex Rodriguez was the top third baseman for the second
straight year after leading shortstops for six straight seasons.
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.