This year, Chase Utley, the former star 2nd baseman for the Phillies is up for Hall of Fame electing. I love Chase Utley and hope he gets into the hall, but will he? He has a curious case, no gold gloves but is considered one of if not the best defensive 2nd basemen of the 2000s. He doesn’t have 2,000 hits but has multiple seasons hitting over 300, over 100 RBI, or 30 home runs.
Utley was a six-time all-star, from 2006-2011 and again in 2014, a four-time silver slugger winner from 2006-2009, and finished in the top 15 in the MVP voting five times from 2005-2009 with 7th being his best finish in 2006 and a World Series champion in 2008. He never collected any defensive accolades over his career but his dWAR of 17.3 puts him 11th amongst 2nd basemen all-time. His career WAR of 64.5 is 12th among 2nd basemen and ahead of Hall of Famers Jackie Robinson, Billy Herman, Joe Gordon, Bobby Doerr, Nellie Fox, Johnny Evers, Tony Lazzeri, Red Schoendienst, and Bill Mazeroski.
Utley is the perfect candidate for the younger and more modern voter with his advanced statistics mentioned above but will enough of them and the older ones give him the vote? Mazeroski was the only Hall of Famer who played later than 1970 and had a lower dWAR than Utley. While it is good that Utley finished in the top 15 in MVP voting, only topping out at 7th isn’t. Utley doesn’t have any Gold Gloves which could also hurt his case. But the biggest knock on Utley’s case is the counting numbers. 1,885 hits, 259 home runs, 1,025 RBIs. There has not been a player voted to the Hall of Fame with under 2,000 hits who played in the modern era.
To conclude, Utley was an amazing player when he played. One of the best of the 2000s. Will that and his advanced stats get him in? Or will the counting stats prevail and keep him out? Only time will tell.