At 38 years old and some-odd months, Los Angeles Dodgers second baseman Chase Utley should be on the steady decline. And while he definitely does not play at the same level he once did, Utley’s productivity has yet to disappear.
Utley has made 161 trips to the plate so far this season, slashing .250/.356/.426 with four home runs, 18 runs driven in and three stolen bases. Utley’s OPS of .783 would be his highest since 2014, and his current walk rate of 12.4 percent rivals the numbers he put up during the heart of his career in 2009 and 2010. If that isn’t impressive enough, Utley’s strikeout tendencies, which had been on the rise, dropped seven percentage points from 2016 to 2017.
Utley has already produced 1.0 fWAR this season with the Dodgers, putting him on pace to post an amount in the 2.5 to 3.0 range if he can continue his good start. That total would be his highest since — you guessed it — 2014, when he was a 4.6-fWAR player. His game has been on the decline since, but he’s tied for 95th in fWAR this season among the 306 players with at least 100 plate appearances.
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