If you talk to Phillies fans and ask them who their favorite player was growing up, a good portion of them would most likely say, Chase Utley. Utley was a big-time fan favorite throughout his career in Philadelphia. The former second baseman retired from baseball after the 2018 season. With Utley’s Hall of Fame ballot approaching, there has been a debate on whether or not Chase Utley belongs in Cooperstown and should be enshrined into the Hall of Fame. The 16-year veteran had some great seasons during his time in the Major Leagues. Was it enough to get himself into the Hall of Fame? I believe the answer is yes.
Utley started his major league career back in 2003. However, Utley started putting the league on notice during his 2005 season. 2006 is where he made his first-ever All-Star appearance. It was during this time that Utley was starting to be considered to be one of the best hitters in baseball, as well as one of the best second baseman. Utley was hitting well on a consistent basis when he was in his prime, despite the fact that he never hit over .300 in a season throughout his entire career. However, in his prime, he made up for hitting under .300, by hitting a good amount of home runs.
Utley’s accolades are the following, a six-time All-Star, a four-time Silver Slugger, and a World Series Champion. Utley also played some good defense during his Major league career, however, he never won a Gold Glove award. When Utley was at his best, he was considered one of the best hitters in baseball, and although some of these accolades aren’t exactly stunning, it is still impressive. Compared to other Hall of Famers, he has some good accolades, he may not be as accomplished as other Hall of Famers, but I believe he has enough accolades to be considered into the Hall of Fame.
As long as stats go, Utley has some good stats. Chase Utley’s career stats are the following, a .275 career batting average, 1,885 career hits, 1,103 runs scored, 259 total home runs, 1025 total RBIs, 154 stolen bases, .358 on-base percentage, .465 slugging percentage, a .823 OPS, a 117 OPS+, and had a career WAR of 64.5. Utley’s stats could be considered Hall of Fame worthy. One thing that may hold Utley back is the fact that he has under 2,000 hits, however something that really makes Utley an interesting candidate for the Hall of Fame is the fact that he has a WAR of 64.5. Something that isn’t shown in the stats is between 2005 and 2012, Utley was graded as the fifth most valuable defender, despite not winning a Gold Glove award.
Even if the stats don’t show it entirely, Utley was extremely valued during his time in MLB. He was a great hitter and a great defender. Utley should be in the Hall of Fame, whether he is on the first ballot or not. Chase should find himself enshrined at Cooperstown sometime in the future.
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