Albert Pujols is good. OK, I know, duh. Unless you’ve been living in a cave the past decade, you know that Pujols is a pretty good hitter. But I actually think he doesn’t get the proper credit for what he’s currently doing and where his career numbers are heading. Not only is he the best active hitter in the league, but he has a legitimate chance to go down as the greatest hitter in the game, period. Of course he has to remain healthy, but if he does look out. He’s already on a path that leads directly to Cooperstown and who knows what else. Let’s try to put his career numbers into perspective.

In nine seasons, King Albert has never hit below .300 (hell, he hasn’t hit below .314),had only one year below a .400 OBP, never hit under 30 home runs, never drove in fewer than 100 runs and has won three National League MVPs. He would have won more MVPs had he played in a league other than Barry Bonds. Coming into this season, Pujols owns a .334 career average and has averaged 43 homers throughout his career. He’s also walked more than he struck out in every year but his rookie season.

Plus, there hasn’t been any drop off. As rare as it was, Joe DiMaggio and Ted Williams even had down years (keep in mind that both of those players lost four years in their prime due to WWII). When you search most home runs for the first nine years of a career, Pujols is first with 366, 15 dingers ahead of Ralph Kiner. That’s also ahead of other greats like Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron, Mickey Mantle, Ernie Banks, A-Rod, Williams and DiMaggio. There’s just no doubt about it—the numbers Pujols continues to produce are truly incredible. And he’s already off to a killer start to 2010 with five homers to lead the majors and a .407 average. I’m amazed teams continue to pitch to him consistently. It’s also worth noting that Pujols name has never been mentioned with the steroid scandal like other sluggers were.

Time will tell if he can stay healthy (lowest games played was 143 in 2006) and avoid the down year that even the greats have suffered. There’s no evidence that shows a decline could come anytime soon.