But Pujols will readily admit that he was putting too much pressure on himself early on, as evidenced by going 29 games with only three walks. Many looked at those numbers and figured Pujols was now in decline and that the 10-year, $240 million contract would be a giant burden for owner Arte Moreno.
The verdict is still out on that, but Pujols will point to similar struggles in past years, particularly the last one.
"The thing is, it's happened during the season, not the first month," Pujols said. "But I don't worry about that. I don't worry about the numbers or anything like that. What I'm thinking is this: What can I do tonight against Kansas City to help my team win? And that's my focus every day. I'm not a player who's selfish. I think about my teammates, about this organization and about the great team Mr. Moreno put together so that we have a chance to win a championship this year."
The Angels have a chance at that, in part because their offense is a lot more functional now with Mike Trout and Mark Trumbo thriving.
Those two, especially the 20-year-old Trout, have dominated the attention while Pujols has somehow slid into the background, with fans ever so captivated by what's new and different and fresh. Over his last 53 games, Pujols is batting .338 with 15 homers and 42 RBIs, including five homers in his last 10 contests.
He's done it rather quietly, though.
"I don't need to prove to anyone what I can do, because everyone already knows what I can do," Pujols said. "If I would've come here and hit .500 in April, everyone would've said, 'Oh, that was the same Albert that we all know.' But look at what I've done since then. Now everybody's like, 'Oh, he's back, he's back.' I've always been there. It's just that baseball is like this."