"-You could find yourself SITTING IN THE HALL OF FAME!"
Great song. Love jamming out to that when it comes on. Usually when that comes on, I start thinking about the Hall of Fame. And then I think about Chase Utley. And then I think Chase Utley should be in the Hall of Fame. Now, before anybody tries to shove some sense into me, let me do some explaining.
Chase Cameron Utley, or better known as "The man", was drafted by the Fightins in the 2000 Amateur Draft in the 1st round, 15th overall. Looking at the 1st round, he may very well be the best player taken. The only other two notable players taken were Adrian Gonzalez (1st overall) and Adam Wainwright (29th overall). Utley made his debut in 2003 and never looked back. Through 2014, Utley has 1471 hits, 221 home runs, 319 doubles, 833 runs batted in, 130 stolen Bases, 563 Base on balls, a .289 career batting average, and a .374 OBP and .499 SLG. He's a 5 time all-star, and a 4 time sliver slugger at second base.
Now, when discussing Utley in the Hall, we should probably have a good player to compare him to. Look no further than in the Phils' dugout: Everyone's favorite (I assume) manager Ryne Sandberg. When comparing Ryno and Chase, I like to list the things they have in common: Consistency, MVP caliber seasons, and hustle. Consistency is an essential part of playing the game. It allows you to show fans and players that you show up all the time, week after week, 24/7. When healthy, Utley is a consistent machine. Notice I said when healthy. Health does and will play a huge part in Utley's HOF discussion. But when he is fully healthy, he can rake. Sandberg and Utley have consistency to their name. Next, MVP caliber seasons. Utley played like an MVP from 2007-2010 and Sandberg was an MVP in his glory years with the Cubbies. Check! The glove: Both Utley and Sandberg were good with the glove, an important part for some statisticians who favor fielding. For with record, Utley has a .982 fielding percentage, making 3531 putouts at 2B. And finally, hustle. Hustle isn't a stat. It's something that has been criticized lately, but in the hands of the right person, it can be a weapon. Chase is a hustle on the base paths and on the field. Remember when Utley made that fantastic play, faking a throw and throwing out a runner at home in the 2008 fall classic? That's the stuff I'm talking about!
Also, WAR plays a big part. WAR, or wins above replacement, determines how many wins a player is worth to his team. After a quick check on BaseballReference.com, I found the all-time WAR leaders at 2B (Players in bold are Hall of Famers):
1. Rogers Hornsby, 127.0 WAR
2. Eddie Collins, 123.9 WAR
3. Nap Lajoie, 107.4 WAR
4. Joe Morgan, 100.3 WAR
5. Rod Carew 80.1 WAR
6. Charlie Gehringer, 80.6 WAR
7. Lou Whitaker, 74.9 WAR
8. Bobby Grich, 70.9 WAR
9. Frankie Frisch, 70.4 WAR
10. Ryne Sandberg, 67.5 WAR
11. Roberto Alomar, 66.8 WAR
12. Willie Randolph, 65.5 WAR
13. Craig Biggio, 65.1 WAR
14. Jackie Robinson, 61.5 WAR
15. Chase Utley, 60.0 WAR
That's a pretty good looking group right there. Out of the 16 players, 11 of them are Hall of Famers, and it's debatable as to whether Biggio should be too, as he as 3000 hits. It's likely that he will eventually get in though. If Utley can continue the monster season he's had so far, he can definitely leap over Jackie Robinson on the WAR list. Here's the link if you want to see the full list: http://www.baseball-reference.com/leaders/jaws_2B.shtml
So, what have we learned? We've learned that Chase is a hard worker, consistent when healthy and is good with the glove. Plus he has the stats to back it up. One more thing... he has that little thing called a World Series win. All those trips to the postseason has to help too. Now, it's a disclaimer that my opinions are not true. Everyone thinks differently, this is just what I thing. All information was required from Baseball Reference.
This was my first fanpost, so hopefully it's alright! Be sure to comment your thoughts on this. Also, what about other Phillies and their HOF cases? Jimmy Rollins is another hot Hall of Famer topic. What about Ryan Howard? If he can get past 400 home runs, there certainly will be some talk. What about Cliff Lee? He's close to 150 wins. Jonat- *Gets hit by a tomato* Alright, alright, not him. But you guys get the point! Make your case for any Phillie!
Thanks for reading! Go Phils!