Ryan Howard has an NL MVP. Jimmy Rollins has an NL MVP. Neither player is as good as Chase Utley is. Utley has a 1.035 OPS in this year’s World Series, and has taken CC Sabathia deep three times. This year, Utley’s 7.7 WAR was 2nd in the NL only to Albert Pujols. For his career, Utley has hit .295/.379/.523. The former UCLA star has been worth nearly 40 wins over his career. He is 31 already, but with a few more strong seasons Utley will be a lock for the Hall of Fame.
Yet Phillies fans still think Ryan Howard is better. They note Howard’s struggles against lefties, all while insisting Utley is prone to it as well. Well, Utley may have bad stretches, but everyone does. His career numbers against lefties are astounding: .282/.388/.492. He’s above average against pitchers that should be dominating him. His last three years he has been a top 5 player in baseball. He has placed 7th, 8th and 14th in the NL MVP voting, further proof that voters are morons.
Utley also gets it done with the glove. He’s been worth 15.7, 20.5 and 12 runs defensively over the past three years.
He is 31, so he’s likely to be exiting his prime soon. And it’s unfortunate. Unfortunate for him, unfortunate for the people who get to watch him everyday, and unfortunate for the millions of fans and writers who don’t understand how valuable of a player he is.