Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Phillies 2013 Review: Second Base

Ah finally, second basemen, Chase Utley *in Dan Baker voice*.  2013 was a pretty successful year for Chase. He played in 131 which is the most since 2009. He did spend about 4 weeks on the disabled list from the end of May to the end of June but for someone as injury prone that Chase is playing in 131 games is pretty good.

I think we can all agree that Chase Utley is still a very good player but he is not as good as he was a few years ago. This is expected due to the amount of injuries that he has had and the natural decline players have when reaching a certain age. Utley turns 35 in December and last season he signed a deal with the Phillies that will keep him in Phillies pinstripes for at least two more seasons. He has options for years 2016, 2017, and 2018. The options become guaranteed with at least 500 at bats in the previous seasons. That would mean Chase would have to play in about 120-125 games to reach 500 plate appearances.

In 2013, Chase Utley had a 3.9 WAR and .348 OBP. Both of those stats are respectable and above league average. Phillies fans are used to Chase having higher stats in both of those categories but like I said Chase is a step below the player he used to be, but still very good.

In the Phillies line up, Chase bats third. I do think in a "good" line up he would be the number two hitter, but with the players that the Phillies have he is their best hitter and fits the third hole well, but I believe he would be suited better in the second spot in the line up in this point in his career.

Like a lot of Phillies players the big question with Chase is always IF he can stay healthy. And going into 2014 and beyond, IF Chase can stay healthy he will continue to be one of the best second basemen in baseball and will be a fan favorite throughout Philadelphia through he "dirt ball" style of play with his relentless hustle, dropping infield fly balls on purpose in hopes of getting a double play, crashing into catchers, and playing the game the right way.

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