On Wednesday Dodger’s second baseman Chase Utley became just the third oldest player since 1913 in baseball history to have a six-hit game. Utley went 6 for 7 (2 doubles) during the Dodger’s 14-inning 6-4 loss to the Orioles at Dodger Stadium. There hasn’t been a Dodger to collect six hits in a game since Shawn Green’s legendary 4-home run game back in 2002. Not many players can get 6 hits in a game. It’s a rare feat accomplished by only a select few players. Our friends over at Numberfire take a closer look at Utley’s production this season and explain why he could be headed for the hall of fame.
The question is does Utley’s career warrant a hall consideration? I think he should at least be in the mix. He was an iconic presence for the Phillies for 13 seasons in Philadelphia. He won two National League pennants, a World Series championship, four silver slugger awards and was selected to the all-star game six times. This year he’s been a revelation for the Dodgers in the lead-off spot. The guys at Numberfire take a look at his unlikely production. To think that the aging infielder is 37-years old this year is quite remarkable.
Utley has played in 75 games for the Dodgers this season and posted a slash line of .270/.349/.387 with 5 home runs and 27 runs batted in. Numberfire has his contributions worth a 3.0 fwar this season, for those number nerds. That’s pretty darned good for a guy his age.
Whether you love him or hate him for his recent controversial slide, Utley is an incredible athlete and a great player to watch. He can still hit, run the bases, and play a solid second base. Personally I love watching him perfect that shovel throw to first he does on grounders so well.
The Dodgers signed Utley to a one-year seven million dollar contract extension this past winter. It’s anyone’s guess whether the Dodgers will retain his services for another year. Given his age, it’s more than likely he’ll either end up with another club or retiring. Still it’s fun to watch Utley have one last great season in the sun. Chase Utley has been and continues to be a very valuable asset for the Dodgers this year. How long can Utley keep defying father time? Do you think he belongs in the hall of fame once his career has ended?