Our 2011 fantasy baseball projections will be released one-by-one until the top 100 players have been revealed. These rankings consider past achievements, current performance and expected future results based on standard 5×5 H2H settings.
During a five-year period from 2005 to 2009, Chase Utley was one of the most valuable assets in fantasy baseball, averaging 151 games, 111 runs, 29 HRs, 101 RBI, 15 steals and a .301 batting average per season – as a second baseman.
A thumb injury which required surgery forced him to miss seven weeks last season, ending his five-year streak of awesomeness. Although Utley did return in time to post an impressive September line, Utley’s time as the top fantasy second baseman has likely ended.
This isn’t to say Utley isn’t still capable of 25 HRs, 15 steals and a .290 average. Rather, Robinson Cano and Dustin Pedroia have finally caught up to Utley as they both enter their prime years. Utley, on the other hand, is now 32 years old.
While Utley’s plate discipline stats don’t suggest much regression, a trend in his batting average over the last few years is somewhat peculiar:
- 2007: .332
- 2008: .292
- 2009: .282
- 2010: .275
While a bounce-back season is fully expected, this downward pattern is worth mentioning.
Surprisingly, one area of Utley’s game that hasn’t declined is his base stealing efficiency:
- 2008: 88 percent (14 out of 16)
- 2009: 100 percent (23 out of 23)
- 2010: 87 percent (13 out of 15)
- Career: 88 percent (96 out of 109)
Given a full season of health as the Phillies’ No. 3 hitter, Utley can still be one of the most productive players at his position.
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Image courtesy of: Michael G. Baron
Fantasy Baseball Insiders’ 2011 Big Board:
- Nos. 1-10 Is Pujols Still The Top Pick?
- Nos. 11-20 Where Do Votto, A-Rod and Halladay Fit In?
- No. 21: Dustin Pedroia
MLB Trades: Fantasy Impact:
- Frank Francisco Traded to the Blue Jays, Who Will Be The Team’s Closer?
- Mike Napoli Traded to the Texas Rangers: Fantasy Impact
- Vernon Wells Traded to the Los Angeles Angels: Fantasy Impact
- Adrian Beltre Traded to the Texas Rangers: Fantasy Impact
Previous articles from Fantasy Baseball Insiders:
- The Sub-2.50 ERA Curse: Why Five Elite Starting Pitchers May Regress in 2011
- 2010 Batting Average on Balls in Play Leaders: What to Expect in 2011?
- 2011 Closer’s Corner: Papelbon, Cordero & Rivera Are the Only Reliable Options
Tags: Chase Utley