Phillies: Comparing each 2008 star to a current MLB player

Jason Reed
PHILADELPHIA, PA - AUGUST 24: Gold Medal Olympians Carli Lloyd, Heather Mitts, Jordan Burroughs, and Susan Francia pose for a picture with Philadelphia Phillies Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins, and Cole Hamels after the Olypians threw the first pitch before the game against the Washington Nationals at Citizens Bank Park on August 24, 2012 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Brian Garfinkel/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - AUGUST 24: Gold Medal Olympians Carli Lloyd, Heather Mitts, Jordan Burroughs, and Susan Francia pose for a picture with Philadelphia Phillies Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins, and Cole Hamels after the Olypians threw the first pitch before the game against the Washington Nationals at Citizens Bank Park on August 24, 2012 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Brian Garfinkel/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images) – Philadelphia Phillies
(Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images) – Philadelphia Phillies /

Chase Utley: Marcus Semien

You are not going to find a player that is having the kind of season that Chase Utley had in 2008. While it was not his MVP season, Utley was not only one of the best hitters in the entire league but was an elite defensive player as well.

The result of that is a FanGraphs WAR that is very hard to replicate. Utley posted an 8.2 fWAR in 2008. To put that into perspective, there were only 10 seasons from 2015-2019 in which a player posted an 8.2 fWAR or better. Mike Trout did it four times, Mookie Betts twice and Bryce Harper, Josh Donaldson, Alex Bregman and Aaron Judge once.

The closest comparison to find is Marcus Semien and the hitting numbers are very similar between the two second basemen. While Semien is an above-average defender, he does not have the glove that Utley had.

Semien has played every game this season and if he plays all 162, at his current rate, he will finish with a 6.9 fWAR. That is fantastic.

Semien is dependable like Utley and his standing among his peers at the plate is nearly identical to Utley in 2008. Semien has a lower batting average and OPS than Utley but is nearly identical in OPS and wRC+. Semien has a 133 OPS+ and 132 wRC+ this season. Utley had a 136 OPS+ and 134 wRC+ in 2008. Strikingly similar.

Utley finished with 33 home runs and Semien is currently as 32, likely finishing the year around 37. Utley also stole 14 bases in 2008, Semien is only one shy of that mark with 13.

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