Phillies legend Chase Utley deserving of spot in Hall of Fame

Chase Utley belongs in baseball's Hall of Fame
Though his career came to a close in a utility role out in Los Angeles, Chase Utley will forever be remembered as one of the best baseball players to have ever called Philadelphia home.

He spent 16 years in the majors, including a dozen years in Philadelphia. He was the epitome of professionalism and a model of the blue-collar work ethic so adored by fans. He was the catalyst of the 2008 club that went on to win the second World Series in franchise history.

"It's a city that respects guys who play hard and who want to win," Utley said this summer while the Dodgers were in town. "Philly is a great place to play and perform if you put the effort out they take notice."

Utley announced over the All-Star break that he was retiring following the 2018 season. The Phillies couldn't celebrate him then, but they will certainly invite him to Citizens Bank Park for a celebration in 2019.

He'll earn his spot on the Phillies' Wall of Fame for sure, but what about a spot in Cooperstown and the Baseball Hall of Fame when he's eligible following the 2023 season?

Over 16 seasons Utley hit .275 with a 117 OPS+. He averaged 16 homers along with 64 RBIs and was solid defensively. The knock against him, unfortunately, was his health. He averaged only 121 games per season over his career and often dealt with leg issues, particularly later in his career.

A six-time All-Star, Utley was the type of player that led by example with a baseball IQ second to none. Unfortunately, the intangibles are tough to sell to writers when it comes to Hall of Fame vote.

Utley's career WAR of 65.4 is below the average second basemen already enshrined in Cooperstown (69.5), though his peak 7-year WAR of 49.3 is significantly better than the 44.5 average of those already in.

JAWS is another category to compare. It was created by Jay Jaffe as a means to measure a player's Hall of Fame worthiness. A player's JAWS is their career WAR averaged with their 7-year peak WAR.

For perspective, the only other second basemen with a higher JAWS than Utley and not in the Hall of Fame are Robinson Cano who's still active and Bobby Grich

Another point to consider is Craig Biggio who was recently inducted as a second baseman and finished his career with 65.5 WAR but played in more than 900 games than Utley.

If it's a yes on Biggio, you can't help but see it being a yes on Utley for enshrinement. Right?
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Follow Patrick on Twitter: @PGordonPBR

BY PATRICK GORDON
Managing Editor
pgordon@philadelphiabaseballreview.com

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