2011 Fantasy Projections, No. 22: Why Chase Utley Is Not The Top Second Baseman

Nick KappelAnalyst IIIJanuary 31, 2011

PHILADELPHIA - SEPTEMBER 26: Second baseman Chase Utley #26 of the Philadelphia Phillies bats during a game against the New York Mets at Citizens Bank Park on September 26, 2010 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Mets won 7-3. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images)
Hunter Martin/Getty Images

Our 2011 fantasy baseball projections will be released one-by-one until the top 100 players have been revealed. These rankings consider past achievements, current performance and expected future results based on standard 5×5 H2H settings.

During a five-year period from 2005 to 2009, Chase Utley was one of the most valuable assets in fantasy baseball, averaging 151 games, 111 runs, 29 HRs, 101 RBI, 15 steals and a .301 batting average per season as a second baseman.  

A thumb injury which required surgery forced him to miss seven weeks last season, ending his five-year streak of awesomeness. Although Utley did return in time to post an impressive September line, Utley’s time as the top fantasy second baseman has likely ended.

This isn’t to say Utley isn’t still capable of 25 HRs, 15 steals and a .290 average. Rather, Robinson Cano and Dustin Pedroia have finally caught up to Utley as they both enter their prime years. Utley, on the other hand, is now 32 years old.

While Utley’s plate discipline stats don’t suggest much regression, a trend in his batting average over the last few years is somewhat peculiar:

  • 2007: .332
  • 2008: .292
  • 2009: .282
  • 2010: .275

While a bounceback season is fully expected, this downward pattern is worth mentioning.

Surprisingly, one area of Utley’s game that hasn’t declined is his base stealing efficiency:

  • 2008: 88 percent (14 out of 16)
  • 2009: 100 percent (23 out of 23)
  • 2010: 87 percent (13 out of 15)
  • Career: 88 percent (96 out of 109)

Given a full season of health as the Phillies’ No. 3 hitter, Utley can still be one of the most productive players at his position.

 PARHRRBISBAVG
2010 stats51175166513.275
3-year average635100278717.284
2011 FBI Forecast650952610015.288

 

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