Chase Utley Lovefest Post

9 Jun

Chase Utley. CHASE UTLEY. CHASE FREAKING UTLEY. What can be said? Mr Utley has started off this 2008 campaign with a bang. He, as well as Pat Burrell, kept the Phillies from floundering early with his hitting prowess. He’s still been whacking the ball while the Phillies have started piling up numbers in the win column. Let’s look at his numbers and where he ranks:

  • 316 average 403 on-base percentage, 660 slugging = 1.063 OPS
    18 doubles, 2 triples, 21 homers, 6-6 SB, 29 BB and 36 K
    .343 equivalent average (.260 is average, .300 is excellent) 41.5 VORP

14th in majors in batting average
18th in OBP
3rd in slugging
5th in OPS
tied 5th in doubles
1st in homers
4th in EQA
3rd in VORP
Exciting, I know. Those rankings are for the whole Majors; he’s even better within the National League. He’s been flashy with the homers, gets on-base at a great clip and he’s pretty fast too. He flashes some decent leather as well, though I doubt he’ll win a gold glove.

Will he keep up this pace? Doubtful. It’s simply an outrageous pace, and there’s no reason Phillies fans should expect him to keep it. He’s on a 52 homer pace! He did regress somewhat from month to month, dropping from a 1.168 OPS in April to 891 in May. However, he is back to his insane ways in June, so it’s not impossible for him to continue to streak.

One thing I noticed while checking out the home/away split is that he’s getting on base as a fairly similar clip (407 home to 400 away), but has 16 homers at CBP and only 5 away. He actually had more homers away n 2005, even in 2006 and had more at home in 2007. This could be nothing more than an aberration except that CBP IS homer-friendly. It’s not exceptionally doubles-friendly though, and the numbers show that as well ( 7 doubles in CBP, 11 away). This trend may continue in the future and should be something to take into consideration.

In any event, Chase has been exceptional since becoming a full-time player, and has blossomed into the best second baseman in baseball (with apologies to Dan Uggla of the Florida Marlins). Whether he continues this pace through 2008 or not, all fans should simply appreciate what he gives to the ball club. Go Chase!

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