For Phillies fans, there's no doubt that second baseman Chase Utley deserves the call to Cooperstown. For those outside of Philadelphia and those voting, the case might not be so clear, though.
The electric infielder was drafted in the first round in 2000 and made his MLB debut three years later in 2003.
In 13 years with Philadelphia, Utley slashed .282/.366/.481 with 233 home runs, 916 RBI, 142 stolen bases, 625 walks, and 958 strikeouts in 6,617 plate appearances across 1,551 games.
For his career, which also included four years with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Utley hit .275/.358/.465 with 259 long balls, 1,025 RBI, 1,193 strikeouts, and 724 walks in 1,937 games.
The left-handed batter also ended his career ninth on the list for most times hit by a pitch with 204. When playing second base, he finished with a .982 fielding percentage, and the speedy infielder currently has the third-highest success rate for stolen bases at 87.5 percent, behind only Byron Buxton and Alexi Casilla.
David Adler of MLB.com noted that for Utley’s chances of making the HOF, it’ll mostly depend on how voters weigh his peak years. Adler pointed out that "his 64.5 career WAR is close to the average for a Hall of Fame second baseman, and his peak WAR is above-average."
While Utley was consistently steady throughout his 16-year career, he shined from 2005 to 2009, batting .301 with an on-base percentage of .388 and a slugging percentage of .535. During that stretch, he amassed 146 home runs and 507 RBI in 754 games. Adler noted his WAR during these years was 39.7, double the closest second baseman (Brian Roberts, 23 WAR).
The now-44-year-old was rewarded with four consecutive All-Star appearances, four Silver Sluggers and five straight years with MVP votes during that stretch. Utley collected two more All-Star Game nods in his career, finishing with six total.
Utley displayed the most power of his career during the Phillies' run to the 2008 World Series title, finishing that year with 32 homers and 104 RBI. Overall, with Philadelphia, he put up a .262/.402/.500 line in the postseason, with 10 home runs, 25 RBI, 34 walks, 38 strikeouts, and 10 stolen bases in 46 games. Those numbers dropped with the Dodgers, however, and some injuries limited his playing time overall.
When looking at the HOF Monitor, Utley is right on the cusp with a 94, but his 64.5 WAR is fifth-best and the WAR for his top seven seasons is second-best (49.3).