Originally written on Baseball Professor  |  Last updated 11/15/14
Picimg_mlb_apr_04_c5b5
Chase Utley hit 38 homers over the last three years, a period in which injuries have limited him to just 301 games. That’s a rate of almost exactly 19 homers per 150 games. The Utley of old was good for 30+ homers per 150 games, but the older Utley of recent memory is not the Utley of old. The new, older Utley (confused yet?) has become a different, more patient hitter. His three best K:BB ratios have come in the last three years, and twice he’s had a perfect 1:1 ratio. In fact, Utley’s 0.95 K:BB ratio since the start of 2010 ranks 10th among the 351 batters to tally at least 600 total plate appearances over that span. And last year Utley’s 21.4% line drive rate and great 1.00 K:BB ratio yielded an expected batting average of .304 with an expected BABIP of .321. Instead, he stumbled to a .256 average thanks to a .261 BABIP. I’m not ready to write Utley off yet, but 2013 will be his last chance to prove he’s worth ranking among the top 150. At a Glance Strengths: K, BB, OBP Neutral: R, HR, RBI, SB, BA, SLG, OPS Weaknesses: GP Player Comparisons Best-case scenario: Dustin Pedroia (BOS) Likely scenario: Ben Zobrist (TB), Brandon Phillips (CIN), Neil Walker (PIT) Worst-case scenario: Kelly Johnson (TOR) Chase Utley 2013 Fantasy Projection Predictive stats like xBA and xBABIP should be relied upon only so much, so I’d caution anyone who wants to take those numbers and run with a .300+ projected average in 2013, but the point is Utley’s peripherals indicate he still has some gas left in the tank. He just has to keep himself on the field. And that’s one area where we decide to play it safe. It might seem pessimistic to project Utley for just 125 games this year, but if he does play that many games it would represent his highest total in the last four years. Projecting injuries is never fun as Utley could stay healthy for 145 games and put up a .280/25/100 season or get hurt and wind up with a .260/12/65 line, so how much you value him comes down to how risk-averse you are. Personally, if I’m taking a chance on a high-risk, high-reward player, it’s generally with a young player who’s best-case scenario hinges on him playing at a high level rather than staying healthy. There’s nothing worse in fantasy than getting stuck with a player who plays great when he’s on the field but can’t be counted upon to actually be on the field. Give me a bust any day; at least in their case I can have no questions about dropping them. But a player who plays great but could go down at any given moment and leave me scrambling? That’s a player I don’t want any part of. While we project Utley to finish as a borderline top-100 option, that’s honestly just a guess. I feel confident in our per-game projections from him, but it’s the number of game’s that’s completely up in the air. Tweet
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Head coaching candidates for the Denver Nuggets

Check out these leaked Clippers jersey redesigns

Aqib Talib’s aggravated assault investigation suspended by Dallas PD

Ohio State expects 80,000 at its spring game this Saturday

Bryant strikes out three times in debut; Cubs fans heckle him

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

NBA rookies who disappointed in 2014-15 season

Report: Urban Meyer reassured Belichick about Hernandez

Cuban: Harden is MVP, Rockets are not very good

J.R. Smith: 'I don’t think anyone can beat us'

SCOTUS asked to overturn baseball's antitrust exemption

Is Chip Kelly expecting too much from Josh Huff?

Ubaldo Jimenez hit Pablo Sandoval with pitch, was ejected

NBA to track and post referees’ calls beginning in playoffs

MLB payrolls continue to rise

NBA playoffs: Los Angeles Clippers vs. San Antonio Spurs

Home runs ruined our ability to appreciate production

Why we love the NFL draft

There are only two contenders ... in the West?

Woman stripped of marathon win, didn't actually run in race

Matt Barnes' son betrays him for Steph Curry

WATCH: Padres fan saved from falling by alert cameraman

Kemp hosts Seattle party over OKC missing playoffs

Jim Harbaugh showed up at Ultimate Frisbee practice

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Leaked Clippers jersey redesigns

Tequila Patron Sports Car Showcase preview

Home runs ruined our ability to appreciate production

Why we love the NFL draft

The "worst" player on each NBA playoff team

Jim Harbaugh showed up at Ultimate Frisbee practice

Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and the burden of legacy

Kris Bryant and floor versus ceiling

Top 10 storylines of the NBA Playoffs

A-Rod being taken to court over unpaid legal fees

Could Wilson really be a two-sport star?

Five players who must step up in the NBA playoffs

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.