Monday, November 16, 2009

Why We Love Chase

With the Eagles having lost yesterday, again, I figured we all need something to smile about. Well I've got it for you:

Chase Utley.

Now I don't bring him up randomly, though that is socially acceptable all of the time (including the bedroom). Yesterday, while perusing the internets, I came across this article (courtesy of Matthew Carruth at It's a very interesting read, so please take two minutes and read it now. I'll even give you slow readers five minutes. Go.

Done? Great.

So how awesome is Chase Utley? Well, after reading that article he's just a little more awesome than he was before. When people questioned his fielding after those two bad throws in the playoffs, smart baseball people knew it was nothing to worry about. Utley wasn't a bad fielder, hell, according to UZR he's the best fielder in baseball.

Now it must be mentioned that UZR isn't a perfect statistic, no statistic is, but it does do a very good job of showing a players overall defensive value. So, what we have in Utley is arguably the most important defensive player in baseball since 2007. And take a look at his worst stats in each of the major categories over the last five years:

.282 BA/.376 OBP/.508 SLG
22 HR
93 RBI
93 R
9 SB

Do you know how many second baseman in baseball put up statistics in 2009 that matched or surpassed those numbers in each category? One. Chase Utley. Aaron Hill and Ben Zobrist were close, but each fell short in at least one category. And that was Chase Utley's combined worst numbers. So apparently, the only second baseman better than Chase Utley as his Chase Utley.

This is the guy who hit a two-run home run in the first inning to set the tone in Game 1 of the 2008 World Series. This is the guy who hit five home runs in the 2009 World Series. This is the guy who came back from major hip surgery this past offseason and still played 156 games. Oh, and this is the guy who coined the term "World Fucking Champions."

How he has never finished higher than seventh in the NL MVP voting is astounding to me. That will, one day, change. What I hope never changes is having #26 run out to second base each game. But we're in good shape when it comes to that folks. The Phillies have only one player under contract past the 2011 season. His name? Chase Utley.


No comments:

Post a Comment