Chase Utley's 2012 on-base percentage was 89 points higher than his replacements.
How does Chase Utley do it?
For the second straight year in 2012, chronic knee pain kept him out for much of the first half of the season. But just like 2011, once Utley returned, he was good to go every day.
Utley returned in the Phillies 77th game, homered in his very first at-bat and proceeded to play 83 of the remaining 86 games, including 71 of the final 72.
He played at a high level, too. Utley hit .256, his lowest batting average since his rookie season, but had as many walks (43) as strikeouts. The result was a .365 on-base percentage. More impressive was the return of his power. Utley hit 11 homers to equal his 2011 total, but he did it in 92 fewer plate appearances.
Utley was obviously a huge upgrade over his first-half replacements. Freddy Galvis, Michael Martinez, Mike Fontenot and Pete Orr combined for a .670 OPS. Utley was at .793. Utley’s OBP was 89 points higher.
Among second baseme...