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Community Projection: Chase Utley

Having looked at the calendar and counted on my fingers (the most advanced math I can handle), I realized that one Community Projection per week won't let us finish by Opening Day.  So we're ramping up production.

In his first full season, the now 27 year old Utley surprised even the most optimistic of his fans, leading the team with a .916 OPS and smacking 28 HRs, all despite spending the first month and a half of the season in a platoon with ML batting champion (and starting third baseman for the 2005 Alternate Universe National League Champion Philadelphia Phillies) Placido Polanco.

Now I think very highly of Chase, but I'm still skeptical that he can maintain what he did last year.  The guy played out of his mind and I think there's going to be a little bit of regression.  Of course he could surprise me and I'd be very happy, but as it is I anticipate his numbers will level off or backslide slightly:

AVG: .280
OBP: .361
SLG: .494
HR: 25
R: 86
RBI: 91
SB: 14

Keep in mind this is still an excellent ballplayer and probably the best second baseman in the league.  The biggest x-factor for Utley is his walk rate, which skyrocketed last year.  That's a great indicator of future success, and if there's one reason why I think I might be way off with the above projections, that would be it.

Anyway, post away.