Player Review/Preview: Chase Utley
Image Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports
Key 2013 Stats: .284 AVG, 18 HR, 69 RBI, .348 OBP
What Happened In 2013:
Considering how many games Chase Utley had missed in recent years, 2013 was a solid season for him. Most importantly, Utley was healthy as he had 476 at-bats over 131 games. His batting average was solid, but his power numbers weren’t quite up to their levels of years past. He finished the season with just 18 home runs and 69 RBIs.
Although his offensive production has dropped, his defense still amazes me. He showed it last season, as despite his knee problems, he is able to still make incredible dives and run up for bare-handed grabs.
What To Expect In 2014:
Health and age are the two biggest concerns for Utley, as he has never played a full 162 game season throughout his 11-year career, and is now 35 years old. Although he seemed to manage his chronic knee pain well last year, it is far from guaranteed that he can do the same in 2014.
I am optimistic that Utley will have another solid, healthy season, with a high batting average. Although I doubt his power numbers will ever again match those from his prime, I expect that he will still be outstanding on defense and on the base paths.