Thursday, September 17, 2009

Chase Utley Posting Career High Fantasy Stats

posted by Jon Williams
Last night, Chase Utley stole his 20th and 21st bases of the season. It is even more impressive than it sounds at this late point in the season, when you consider that we were all at least slightly worried about him coming into the season. It may seem like centuries ago now, but Utley had hip surgery last off season and the earliest reports all predicted that he could miss the first month of the season. Instead Utley was ready on day one and has had another in a string of great (possibly even underrated) seasons. In fact he is on pace to set career highs in Walks, OBP, Home Runs and Stolen Bases.

Utley plays in the middle of the best lineup in the National League. As long as the group of Utley, Ryan Howard, Shane Victorino, Jayson Werth and Raul Ibanez stay together he should continue to have great Run and RBI totals. He is in his prime years as a hitter and should have at least a couple more years before his age starts to show in his stats. His manager obviously doesn't have an issue with Utley stealing bases. How could he when Utley is always successful? That's right, Utley has 21 stolen bases and has not been caught this season. With a consistently high batting average, OBP, SLG, his ability to hit homeruns, steal bases, and stay in the lineup despite everything --how could you do better?
Year Team G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB K SB CS AVG OBP SLG OPS
2003 PHI 43 134 13 32 10 1 2 21 11 22 2 0 .239 .322 .373 .696
2004 PHI 94 267 36 71 11 2 13 57 15 40 4 1 .266 .308 .468 .776
2005 PHI 147 543 93 158 39 6 28 105 69 109 16 3 .291 .376 .540 .915
2006 PHI 160 658 131 203 40 4 32 102 63 132 15 4 .309 .379 .527 .906
2007 PHI 132 530 104 176 48 5 22 103 50 89 9 1 .332 .410 .566 .976
2008 PHI 159 607 113 177 41 4 33 104 64 104 14 2 .292 .380 .535 .915
2009 PHI 140 511 102 151 27 2 31 90 83 98 21 0 .296 .414 .538 .952

Utley's incredible production and his own only slightly diminished production must put the mind of Alex Rodriguez to rest. A-Rod had a temporary procedure done, a patch of sorts, to allow him to play through a hip injury very similar to Utley's. In April, I did not have high hopes for A-Rod based on the temporary nature of the fix and the simultaneous steroid controversy that was raging at the time. Obviously, I mis-judged both Rodriguez and his chances at a productive season. I now have considerably more faith that A-Rod will emerge from his off-season surgery (the real fix) as productive as he ever was.

Chase Utley is a worthy first round pick for fantasy owners in almost any kind of league. I would have no problem taking him in the top ten and even in the top three just after Albert Pujols and Hanley Ramirez. His position puts him ahead of Ryan Braun, Miguel Cabrera, Cecil Fielder and even AFB favorite --Matt Kemp. Joe Mauer is also approaching this territory for me but I'm not quite sold on jis ability to repeat his power numbers yet.

Here is how Yahoo ranks the Top 25 Fantasy Players coming down the stretch:

1) Albert Pujols 1B St. Louis Cardinals
2) Hanley Ramirez SS Florida Marlins
3) Tim Lincecum SP San Francisco Giants
4) Dan Haren SP Arizona Diamondbacks
5) Zack Grienke SP Kansas City Royals
6) Ryan Braun OF Milwaukee Brewers
7) Prince Fielder 1B Milwaukee Brewers
8) Matt Kemp OF Los Angeles Dodgers
9) Joe Mauer C Minnesota Twins
10) Chase Utley 2B Philadelphia Phillies
11) Mark Reynolds 3B Arizona Diamondbacks
12) Chris Carpenter SP St. Louis Cardinals
13) Derek Jeter SS New York Yankees
14) Javier Vazquez SP Atlanta Braves
15) Felix Hernandez SP Seattle Mariners
16) Miguel Cabrera 1B Detroit Tigers
17) Carl Crawford OF Tampa Bay Rays
18) Matt Holliday OF St. Louis Cardinals (This one deserves a post of its own)
19) Ryan Howard 1B Philadelphia Phillies
20) Mark Teixeira 1B New York Yankees
21) Adam Wainwright SP St. Louis Cardinals
22) Bobby Abreu OF Los Angeles Angels
23) Justin Verlander SP Detroit Tigers
24) Roy Halladay SP Toronto Blue Jays
25) Derrek Lee 1B Chicago Cubs

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3 Comments:

Blogger Dave said...

Would you give up Kemp + Holliday for Chase in the offseason, in a keeper?

Friday, September 18, 2009 at 1:07:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Jon Williams said...

Assuming that you could keep the pair together that might be a little too much. If you have an extremely strong keeper list and one of the two had to go then I could see making a move like that. But other wise I think I would prefer to start my outfield with both Kemp and Holliday rather than just Utley. It is an interesting idea. A few months ago you might have received a different answer with Holliday having a very mediocre season at that point. But I think Holliday has now proven that he can still be a very productive player worthy of if not a first round pick than no less than a second rounder.

Friday, September 18, 2009 at 3:36:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Dave said...

Awesome, thanks!

Saturday, September 19, 2009 at 8:24:00 AM EDT  

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