The Los Angeles Dodgers have brought back a familiar face, as former All-Star Chase Utley will return to Los Angeles in 2018. While there has been no announcement on terms, Utley figures to play the same role that he has played for the reigning National League Champions over the past two and a half years, playing a part-time role and posting offensive numbers hovering around league average, while playing above average defense.
In 2017, Utley posted a .236/.324/.405 line with eight home runs, six stolen bases (out of seven attempts), and in true Chase Utley fashion, was hit by nine pitches. His value for the Dodgers, however, is not restricted to the diamond — he has been a very important member of the clubhouse, as his work ethic, competitiveness, and hard-nosed play are second to none. He has also been credited as a major influence to Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager in his development into an MVP-caliber player.
While he hasn’t posted the same All-Star level results of his peak with Philly, Utley has remained a very useful player through his late 30s. It should also be noted that Utley is just 150 hits away from reaching 2,000, which would bode exceptionally well for his already intriguing case for the Hall of Fame. Furthermore, Utley could surpass Hall of Fame second baseman Roberto Alomar in Wins Above Replacement, as he sits just 1.4 behind him.
While Father Time is undefeated, Utley has certainly put up an amazing fight, and he continues to be lauded throughout the league for his undeniable hustle and leadership.