As the 2010s wind down, PhilliesNation.com will go position-by-position in determining the Philadelphia Phillies All-Decade team.
Familiar faces played second base for the Philadelphia Phillies for almost all of the 2010s. On a major league team that had dozens of players coming in and out, Chase Utley and César Hernández provided regular production at the position for just about the entire decade. Several others played second base but only on a fill-in basis. Perhaps the most prominent was Wilson Valdez, who played the position for multiple stretches while Utley battled injuries.
Although Utley dealt with various injuries throughout the 2010s, the 2008 World Series champion still found success when he was on the field. Utley secured two of his six All-Star selections in this decade, being voted in as the starter at second base in both 2010 and 2014. He was the starting second baseman on the two Phillies teams this decade to make the postseason. Utley had an fWAR of 19.1 for the team in the 2010s before being traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers in August of 2015.
Hernández replaced Utley as the starting second baseman in 2015. From there, he became one of the faces of the Phillies’ rebuild. He was one of the few positives on some Phillies teams that were not very competitive. Hernández was the Phillies’ leader in hits and runs scored in the 2010s, posting an fWAR of 11.6 in the decade as well.
Valdez helped keep the Phillies afloat as a backup infielder in 2010 and 2011. He filled in for injured starters at a few positions, most commonly second base. Valdez was far from a star but was an important piece to two playoff teams. In 2011, he famously moved from second base to pitcher in the 19th inning of a game against the Cincinnati Reds, pitching a scoreless inning and earning the win. Valdez was worth 0.2 fWAR for the Phillies.
Despite multiple stints on the injured list, Utley was still the most valuable second baseman that the Phillies had this decade. He was able to continue to produce late into his Phillies career, which not every star from the previous decade did. Utley led the team’s position players in total fWAR in the 2010s.
Utley had missed all of the 2012 season with knee problems until he returned in June. He came up to bat for the first time against the Pittsburgh Pirates to a standing ovation. As it turned out, Utley had another classic moment left in him, homering in his first plate appearance of the season:
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