With Chase Utley and his Los Angeles Dodgers taking on his former team the Philadelphia Phillies, this series holds a certain level of significances. A few weeks ago Chase announced that he would retire at the conclusion of the season. So with Chase in Philly for the last time as an active player let’s take the opportunity to examine his case for Cooperstown.
Chase Utley was drafted by both of the teams he has played for. The Los Angeles Dodgers drafted Utley in the second round of the 1997 First Year Amateur Player Draft. Chase was then selected by the Philadelphia Phillies first round (15th overall) of the 2000 First Year Amateur Player Draft.
In over 1900 games Chase has amassed 1800 hits, over 1000 rbi’s and 250 plus home runs. But not just the standard numbers alone tell the tale of Chase Utley. Jay Jaffe of FanGraphs has developed a methodology to determine the merits of a Hall of Fame career. Using his method known as JAWS the baseline for a Hall of Famer is a WAR of 55. Chase has total a WAR (Wins Above Replacement) of over 65. Again measuring by WAR Chase is 13th All-Time (according to FanGraphs) among second basemen in MLB history. And while defensive metrics have not been around for very long Utley ranks number one in terms of FanGraphs Defensive Runs Saved at second base.
As a New York Yankee fan, Chase Utley has been a torn in the side for many years. And he nearly beat the Yankees in the 2009 World Series. However, putting that aside and recognize the absolute hands down case that Utley has for the Hall of Fame. I look forward to his name being voted into the Hall of Fame in the summer of 2023.