As it stands, 57.9 WAR gives him more career WAR than Hall-of-Famers Willie Stargell, Hank Greenberg, and Joe Torre (although Torre is technically in the HOF as a manager). With a couple more All-Star level seasons, which are certainly quite possible from him, and he will be around 63-65 WAR, which puts him in the company of a lot of Hall-of-Famers. Utley is a really good player.
What’s most incredible about Utley is that he’s done this while only playing more than 156 games 3 times in his career. To think he’s missed perhaps about 2 full seasons worth of games in his career and still amassed 5 seasons of at least 7.2 WAR is unbelievable. It is hard to say whether a player who has been oft-injured as Utley will be voted into the Hall-of-Fame, but the talent has always been there and when he does play, he is definitely that level of player. It’s also important to note that despite never having won a Gold Glove, he’s been a well-above average defender at second base, amassing +134 DRS in his career. That’s pretty impressive.
When it’s all said and done, it’s hard not to see Utley getting at least a fair shot on the first Hall-of-Fame ballot he appears on. His grit and determination for playing through so many injury-plagued seasons must count for something, but the numbers alone tell the story of a perennial All-Star with underrated defense. See you in Cooperstown someday, Chase!
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