Chase Utley has been ‘The Man’ at 2nd base since 2004 (Photo Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports)
8. CHASE UTLEY, 2nd Baseman
The Phillies 1st Round pick as the 15th overall player selected in the 2000 MLB Draft out of UCLA, Utley made his big league debut in 2003 with a literal bang. In just his 2nd game, his first hit resulted in a grand slam at Veteran’s Stadium.
Over the ensuing 12 seasons, Utley has been a heart-and-soul type player. From 2005-10, he was arguably the best 2nd baseman in the National League. He was an NL All-Star from 2006-10, returning as the starter again in 2014.
From 2005-09, Utley finished in the Top 15 of National League Most Valuable Player balloting each year, three times finishing among the top eight vote-getters. From 2006-09 he won the NL Silver Slugger at 2nd base.
Utley saved some of his biggest moments for the postseason, homering to get the Phillies off to a fast start in the first inning of the 2008 World Series. Then in the clinching Game 6 of that series, Utley’s incredible late-game defensive play, now known simply as ‘Utley’s Deke’, shut down the Rays last real chance.
‘The Deke’ is the perfect example of the heads-up smart play and hustle that has made Utley a fan favorite. Harry Kalas himself christened Chase with his nickname when he exclaimed “Chase Utely, you are The Man!”
The 2nd baseman known affectionately as ‘The Man’ is one of the most popular players to ever don a Phillies uniform, a big part of the 2008 World Series champs, and one of the greatest players in franchise history.