Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Best Fielding Secondbaseman of the Past Decade...

Chase Utley, at least according to Rob Neyer.
"Utley still hasn't won a Gold Glove, but that's the voters' fault because he's deserved three or four of them already. And what a strange trip it's been. He began his college career as a shortstop, then spent some time at DH before finally shifting to second base. In the minors, the Phillies turned him into a third baseman, but that shift was reversed when third baseman David Bell joined the franchise. Finally, Utley was back at second base, where he belonged. Frankly, Utley doesn't have the arm to play third base, and his relatively weak arm does hurt him when trying to turn double plays. But he still has the range of a shortstop, and makes an immense number of plays to both his left and his right that most second basemen simply don't make."

Utley took over 2nd base for the Phillies full-time in 2005 and has made himself into an asset at the position. It's not secret that I'm biased towards him, because he's my favorite player of all-time, but Neyer is right in that Utley has been overlooked for some odd reason when it comes to Gold Gloves.

NL Gold Glove Secondbasemen:
(since 2005)
2009- Orlando Hudson
2008- Brandon Phillips
2007- Orlando Hudson
2006- Orlando Hudson
2005- Luis Castillo

Castillo deserved his Gold Glove about as much as Bobby Abreu deserved his. The O-Dawg, Orlando Hudson, is an excellent fielder, but Utley is better. Brandon Phillips...whatever.


Andrew said...

although gold gloves are a total crock, I agree Utley has been snubbed more than once (more than twice!) I thought he was a virtual lock for it this year. The award has very little credibility (see: Jeter, Derek)

GM-Carson said...

In Neyer's article he points out for some strange reason the Gold Glovers must be solid hitters too in the voters eyes, and Chase Utley is certainly that.

Bob D said...

yeah hitting for some unknown reason has played into it. It seems as if 2nd base it hasn't since Utley is also the best hitting second baseman. Not a bad combo: best hitter and fielder. Now the team has a gold glove second baseman in Placido Palanco. Irronic isn't it?

J-Roll the best feilding SS in a crowded field and Howard had a much improved 2009 in the field (was the best fielding % in the first half before a handful of errors derailed his gold glove run). The Phils have the best infield in baseball with defense and offense

Preserve Jon said...

I'd say I respect Rob Neyer's opinion about as much as I do Tim Marchman's. Both routinely make misjudgements that appear to harken back to ill-informed preconceived notions. Neyer's saving grace is the fact that he can organize words into a coherent sentence. That being said, Utley is the best fielding second basement in the senior circuit, so I agree with Neyer on this accord.

GM-Carson said...

Neyer used Ultimate Zone Rating to come to the conclusion of Utley being the best at 2nd.

Preserve Jon said...

I know the Phillies are dealing with an embarrassment of riches, but since you guys occasionally dabble in dicussing PA's leftward team, I wanted to mention something briefly. Have you seen their roster? I think I recognized exactly three of their position players. And by recognize I mean I scratched behind my ear and said, "I think I've heard of them." They also have Charlie Morton on the roster as a pitcher. Didn't he play quarterback for the Lions a few years back? Talk about a re-tread!


It is so very sad that this is the team they field in that beautiful stadium. Nevermind that they have the injustice of playing in the NL Central. I say swap the Braves for the Buccos and undo the indignity wrought by the 1994(?)realignment.

::Caution, argument out of left field ahead.::

Even better, how about a radical realignment organizing original teams and expansion teams into two separate divisions. Then qualify two wildcard teams NFL style, in that they could come from anywhere in the league. My divisions would be organized thusly: (1) Phils, Cubs,Cards, Pirates, Dodgers, Giants, Braves and Reds; (2) Marlins, Mets, Nats, 'Stros, Brew crew, D'Backs and Rockies.

You can imagine how the AL would look. Have I totally gone off the deep end? Perhaps I should just get back to work.

Aaron said...

The bullpen??

Is this thing on???????

Jeremy said...

To be honest Chase has gotten snubbed yes... but he is still a stud of a ball player.