The Philadelphia Phillies have been fantastic over the last two years, repeating as National League Champs and winning the World Series in 2008.
The main reason why they have done so well isn’t because of their pitching. It’s because of their three core players in Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley, and Ryan Howard.
All four of them have been key parts of the Phillies success since they joined the team.
The first to join the team was Jimmy Rollins in 2000.
He won the starting job in 2001, and had a terrific rookie year, finishing third in Rookie of the Year voting, leading the league in stolen bases, and making the All-Star team. He also was an All-Star the next season.
His greatest successes came from 2004-2007, when he had at least 190 hits and scored at least 100 runs each season. He made the All-Star team in 2005 and won the 2007 NL MVP Award.
In 2007, Rollins became the fourth player to have at least 20 home runs, doubles, triples, and stolen bases in one season.
His past two seasons haven’t been as stellar, but he will surely bounce back soon.
The next to join the team was Chase Utley in 2003.
He became a full-time starter in 2005 and has been the best second baseman in baseball ever since. He has been the starting second baseman for the NL All-Star team the past four years and will surely be elected many more times unless another player steps up.
Utley is a five-tool player who has had many seasons that could rival as his best. The most likely is 2006, in which he had 203 hits, 32 home runs, 102 RBIs, and 131 runs scored. He also consistently leads the league in hit by pitches and has won a Silver Slugger every season since 2006.
Finally, there is Ryan Howard. He has been the most productive hitter in baseball since he was called back up to the majors in 2005. He already has a Rookie of the Year and an MVP Award under his belt and could very well make a case for more MVPs in the future.
Howard has led the league in home runs twice and RBIs three times. He also is the fastest player to reach 100, 150, and 200 home runs in MLB history.
Now, there is no doubt that by the time all three of these players’ careers are over they will have a long list of achievements and awards. They all will make strong cases for the Hall of Fame after they are done playing.
There are many reasons to support this. For one thing, they aren’t old.
Rollins and Utley will be 31 when the season starts, and Howard will be 30. They already have great stats and will add during the next few years.
Another reason is the number of awards they have and will have. All three already have notable awards and achievements. They will surely get many more before their careers are over.
Also, one of the things the Hall of Fame looks for is whether they were the dominant player at their position. Chase Utley is by far the top second baseman, and Rollins used to be but has fallen from grace of late. Ryan Howard is also up there with Albert Pujols for the top first baseman.
Finally, all three have the great stats. Here they are:
These are already good stats, considering all their playing time. All three will surely make strong cases for the Hall of Fame after their careers are over.