Career w/Phillies: .298 AVG / 130 HR / 492 RBI / 60 SB
In the annals of Phillies history, few infielders have possessed the skill of Chase Utley. And according to this list, he’s already the greatest second baseman in franchise history. Utley was drafted by the Phillies in 2000, and made his major league debut in 2003. In his first start — at Veterans Stadium — he knocked a grand slam against the Rockies. The rest has been great history. The 2003 and ’04 seasons saw Utley shuffling his role with infielder Placido Polanco, but he finally got the regular starting job in 2005. He hit .291, drove in 105 and scored a 13th-place MVP vote. 2006 was better: .309, 32 HR, 102 RBI. 2007 was going even better, but a hand injury took a month out of his campaign. Still, .332, 22 HR and 103 RBI ain’t shabby. In 2008, Utley played much of the season on a broken hip, but still finished .292, 33 HR, 104 RBI. He helped the Phillies win the ’08 World Series, mainly with his improved glove. The trademark moment of his career: His pump and throw home to record the final out of the seventh inning of game five. From there, the Phils took it and won it. So far, so amazing for No. 26.
Comment: When you watch Chase Utley, you’re watching a special player. Everything he does is well above average, and he is unquestionably the top second baseman in baseball, and has been for four consecutive seasons. He creeps just above Ryan Howard because of the additional year and well-rounded game, but so far, Utley and Howard are in good shape together in this list. Utley should move up in this list very soon.
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