As it stands, 65.4 WAR gives him more career WAR than Hall-of-Famers Craig Biggio, Andre Dawson, Dave Winfield, Willie Stargell, Hank Greenberg, and Joe Torre (although Torre is in the HOF as a manager). As he's in the company of a lot of Hall-of-Famers, Chase Utley certainly deserves consideration as a Hall-of-Fame worthy player.
What’s most incredible about Utley is he's accomplished all 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.
When Utley played, he was a superstar caliber player. It’s also important to note that despite never having won a Gold Glove, Utley was a well-above average defender at second base, amassing 133 Defensive Runs Saved (DRS) in his career. That’s pretty impressive, even when you consider he became a slightly below average defender after 2015. Whether or not you believe in the defensive metrics, people who watched him play would agree he was a spectacular defender.
When it’s all said and done, it’s hard not to see Utley getting at least a fair shot on his first eligible Hall-of-Fame ballot. His grit and determination for playing through so many injury-plagued seasons must count for something. Still, the numbers alone tell the story of a perennial All-Star with underrated defense. See you in Cooperstown someday, Chase!
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