Phillies Madness: Rd. 2 of the All-Time Phillies Bracket
11 Ryan Howard vs 6 Chase Utley
Two of the greatest players in franchise history and the greatest ever to play their respective positions. One of the toughest matchups in this bracket emerges with Chase Utley vs Ryan Howard.
Howard emerged as one of the greatest power hitters in franchise history, now second all-time in home runs with 382, third in RBI with 1,194 and fourth in extra-base hits with 680.
The Big Peace would finish in the top-five for the MVP for four consecutive years with three top-three finishes. During that stretch, Howard had no fewer than 45 home runs and led the league in home runs twice. Howard also led the league in RBIs three times and drove in at least 136 runs.
En route to a Hall of Fame career, Howard’s achillies gave out in the final game of the 2011 season. Had he stayed healthy, maybe come up a season earlier and kept his season-average 39 home runs he’d be looking at a spot in Cooperstown.
Utley was a much more all-around player whose career was also derailed by injuries, in his case, bad knees.
Utley’s career as a full-time player started with four seasons of at least 100 RBI and hit at least 20 home runs in five consecutive seasons. He also surpassed the 30 home run mark three times.
He’d make five straight All-Star teams and won four consecutive Silver Slugger Awards.
During his 2005-09 run Utley averaged (per 162 games) 189 hits, 43 doubles, 32 home runs, 110 RBI, and had a .301 average. Project that over 15 seasons and he’s also being inducted into the Hall of Fame with nearly 3,000 hits and nearly 500 home runs.
Here’s how Utley and Howard’s numbers in Philadelphia stack up against each other.
Howard: 382 home runs, 1,475 hits, 277 doubles, 1,194 RBI, .258 batting average
Utley: 233 home runs, 1,623 hits, 346 doubles, 916 RBI, .282 batting average
Utley and Howard played nearly as many games as each other, Howard playing just 21 more games.