2009 Projection: Chase Utley – Phillies Nation

2009 Projection: Chase Utley

Chase Utley, 2B (LHB)
Age: 30

2008: 607 AB / 113 R / 33 HR / 104 RBI / 64 BB / 104 SO / 14 SB / .292 AVG / .380 OBP / .535 SLG

Summary: Chase Utley was having his finest offensive season in 2008 before a mysterious hip injury slowed him to mortal status. Of course, that was when his defense took center stage, and Utley — maybe robbed of a Gold Glove — directed a highlight reel of stupendous plays at second base. Still, Utley was hitting home runs at an alarming rate, at times threatening for 50 in a projected season. And his average was sitting comfortably in the expected .310s. The injury brought his homer total to a normal — but still impressive — 33, and his average to a solid but unspectacular .292. He improved against left-handed pitching (.277/.368/.519), but was lame in tight situations (.221/.353/.347 in late-and-close).

Career Level: Prime 2 (Year 2)

Green Flags: Utley remains impressive in all facets of the game, despite the hip injury. … The first two months of 2008 indicated where Utley was heading as his prime entered its second phase. … Even if the offense drops, Utley’s defense is valuable enough to retain his position as one of the game’s most important players. … Utley made contact with 65.7 perecent of pitches outside the plate, a very strong mark. … Utley became more of a line drive hitter in 2008.

Red Flags: The hip might still be bothering him (though he says it doesn’t), and that could mean even worse results in 2009. … Utley saw an exorbitant amount of fastballs in 2008 (61.8 percent of pitches), and that number shouldn’t be that high in 2009. … As a clutch hitter, Utley has deteriorated, and his clutch number is now at -2.19.

Prognostication: Utley is difficult to project because of the hip. Could he see fewer play early in the season? Absolutely (not likely, though). But could he also see no disruption? Absolutely. This projection is based on a full season without disruption; most experts see Utley to track down slightly from his age 28 and 29 trends, but I see a career season. Why not? He was on that pace before the injury.

2009 Projection: 621 AB / 119 R / 36 HR / 102 RBI / 69 BB / 110 SO / 18 SB / .314 AVG / .393 OBP / .555 SLG



  1. Fuhs

    March 31, 2009 at 5:38 pm

    And let’s not forget that Utley is likely to take over the franchise HBP record this year.

  2. TJ

    March 31, 2009 at 5:40 pm

    I’m calling a pre-season MVP award.

  3. Don M

    March 31, 2009 at 5:55 pm

    I kinda think its nuts to project a great season for Utley.. hopefully you guys are right, but I think it’s a lot to ask of a guy coming of an extra-long season, and a hip surgery..

    If he hits over 30 HRs, with over 100 RBIs, I’ll be shocked

  4. Chutley

    March 31, 2009 at 6:06 pm

    Why are people saying he won’t hit 30 hrs? yeah he went nuts to start the year but his hip really slowed him down the second half. I like the 36 hr projection

  5. Phil

    March 31, 2009 at 6:11 pm

    i dont think the hip will slow utley down and i think tims projections are modest. i foresee a .340/.420/.605 mark with 41 homers 127 runs 121 rbis and 16 sb with a gg ss and mvp to go with it

  6. TJ

    March 31, 2009 at 7:00 pm

    Who can see Ibanez with 120 Rbis though? I sure as hell can in this lineup.

  7. Evan

    March 31, 2009 at 7:13 pm

    If Utley’s hip is truly 100% he could have an MVP year, he was well on his way last year before he slowed down cause of the injury. Even playing injured for half a season last year, he was the best 2nd baseman in the majors, that’s pretty impressive.

    I’d be happy with a repeat of last year’s performance but with much better clutch stats.

  8. Woodman

    March 31, 2009 at 8:11 pm

    If Chase can hit 33/104 with a bad hip, I find it amusing anyone would be “shocked” to see him do it on a good hip. Amazing!

  9. Tyler

    March 31, 2009 at 8:12 pm

    utley is a machine… i can see him easily winning the mvp and all kinds of other awards… he & howard almost single-handedly (or in this case double-handedly… made up that word but watever) won the division and WS for us… they were outstanding last year… no reason not to expect another monster year for utley after last year’s promising start only slowed down by his hip!

  10. Don M

    March 31, 2009 at 8:16 pm

    You think he’ll put up power numbers in April and May? I don’t… I hope i’m wrong though.

    He’ll be getting lots of rest in day games after night games, etc..

    June, July, August, September, hopefully he pounds the ball

    My whole view on this is his hip.. they played a TON of baseball last year.. and he was slow getting involved this spring.. I think its going to take him a while to be main guy in this lineup again

  11. Mark

    March 31, 2009 at 10:06 pm

    Utley also will benefit from better protection in the lineup. Rollins appears to be fully healthy and Ibanez is a better hitter for average than Burrell was. Given the lineup around him he has a chance to get even more pitches to hit – in other words I would not be surprised if he saw more fastballs.

  12. Manny

    March 31, 2009 at 10:08 pm

    His smooth, compact swing is back…. I saw it in a recent ST game on TV… that’s all he needs.

  13. Matt

    March 31, 2009 at 10:24 pm

    Utley is already 30? For whatever reason, that is really surprising. Expect a slow decline for the next 3-4 years followed by a sharp decline. Kinda depressing, we’ve already seen the best of Chase.

  14. Manny

    March 31, 2009 at 10:32 pm

    Oh, and that would be because 30 is the magic number when all players start to decline? BS

  15. Chuck P

    April 1, 2009 at 9:50 am

    As long as Utley can stay healthy, he’ll be fine. Everyone would hate to see him rush back too early… can’t be too machismo. He needs to continue to strengthen the hip because, although he might feel great now, the muscles really need to be strengthened to the point where they can withstand the everyday grind of baseball or he will experience fatigue. This year, I see him hitting right around 30 HR. He doesn’t have a homerun swing… his swing is best suited to spray balls into the gaps but when he sees a mistake pitch, he’s strong enough send it out of the park. If that hip is not 100%, those homeruns turn into doubles.

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