Monday, February 15, 2010

Batting Second: Chase Utley- Second Base

Game one of the World Series between the Tampa Bay Rays and Philadelphia Phillies in Tampa Bay

Philadelphia Phillies All-Time Line Up (Part 2 of a 9 Part Series)

Although he is still in the prime of his career, Chase Utley has already clearly achieved the status as the greatest second baseman in Phillies team history. Despite hailing from laid back Southern California, Utley has won the hearts of Philadelphians with his blue collar, intense style of play almost as much as his rare combination of skills.

Chase is the proverbial "Five Tool" player and widely recognized as the top second baseman in the game today. He has been instrumental to the team's emergence as one of the very best teams in Major League Baseball with three consecutive National League Eastern Division titles, two NL pennants and the 2008 World Series Championship. Besides his remarkable contributions between the white lines, his legendary preparation and demeanor have been central to the Phillies winning team chemistry.

After being drafted in the first round out of UCLA, Utley joined the Phillies big club three years later in 2003 and quickly became a fixture. Since becoming a regular, Utley has averaged .301 at the plate with 29 HR's and 101 RBI's over the past five seasons- great production for any player, but especially for a middle infielder.

As impressive as his stat lines may be, Utley is tremendously admired for the many less tangible contributions that he makes towards winning games. The consummate gamer tires pitchers by working deep into the count, runs the bases with aggressive precision, and manufactures ways to get on base with his keen eye and his resolve to absorb pitches off his body.

Having just turned 31, the fan favorite likely has a great deal more yet to come, but has already accumulated an impressive resume. Utley has been recognized as a National League All-Star and Silver Slugger each of the past four years. He has also finished in the top 15 of the annual MVP voting for five consecutive years, while remaining one of the favorites to grab a trophy in the near future.


Phillies 602 161 585 .295 83 .379 .523

Career 602 161 585 .295 83 .379 .523

Honorable Mention:

Juan Samuel- The 1984 Sporting News Rookie of the Year was a fixture at the top of the line-up for 5 1/2 seasons and one of the most exciting players to ever wear the red pinstripes. He possessed a combination of power and blazing speed that is rarely found in a second baseman. He still holds the single season record for steals with 72 and often raced to stretch hits into doubles and triples. His best season was 1987 when he collected 37 doubles, 15 triples, 28 home runs, 100 RBI and 35 stolen bases while hitting .272.

Manny Trillo- Manny was a tremendous fielder with a whip-like arm who was one of the major's best at turning double plays. He won three Gold Glove Awards and two Silver Slugger Awards in his four Phillies seasons. Fans may remember him best for his MVP play in the 1980 NL Championship series.

Part 1

Phillies All-Time Line-Up

Batting First: Richie Ashburn- Center Field

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