Chase Utley is eligible for the Baseball Hall of Fame for the first time and his case has stirred debate.
The Phillies great is one of 26 players on the Baseball Writers' Association of America's Hall of Fame ballot, which also includes Jimmy Rollins and Bobby Abreu. The announcement of who has been elected comes Tuesday at 6 p.m. on MLB Network.
Utley's case has been a fascinating measure of peak vs. longevity. From 2005-09, he was perhaps the best overall player in baseball, hitting .301/.388/.535, averaging 39 doubles, 29 home runs, 101 RBI and 111 runs scored with elite defense and baserunning. Few, if any players positively affected more facets of a game than Utley during that era.
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Over that five-year period, he won a World Series and homered five times in six games when the Phillies fell short against the Yankees the following year.
It was one of the best runs any second baseman has ever had, but was it long enough? Knee injuries cut short what looked like a surefire Hall of Fame career. Utley averaged 151 games during his five-year peak but just 116 over his final nine seasons.
He will have his supporters and figures to be popular with voters who value advanced metrics. A player needs 75% of votes to be elected to the Hall of Fame. Utley is currently tracking at 39.7%, according to data compiled by @NotMrTibbs.
Rollins returns to the ballot for the third year. He appeared on 9.4% of ballots last year and is up about 5% this year.
It's the fifth year for Abreu, who has essentially doubled last year's voting percentage of 8.6.
Candidates remain on the ballot for 10 years unless they are elected to the Hall of Fame or receive less than 5% of votes.
Adrian Beltre has received 99% of tracked votes so far. Joe Mauer, Todd Helton and former Phillies closer Billy Wagner are the other three players currently projected for election.