Rum Bunter Staff Mock Hall of Fame Ballot: Noah Wright

If I had a ballot, this is who I would vote for the Hall of Fame.
2023 National Baseball Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony
2023 National Baseball Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony / Jim McIsaac/GettyImages
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Chase Utley

I think Chase Utley is the best second baseman to have never reached 2000 hits and not have a strong connection to steroids. The longtime Philadelphia Phillie spent the first 12 and a half years of his career in white and red. The final few years of his career were spent as a platoon infielder for the LA Dodgers. 

Utley ended his MLB career with a .275/.358/.465 triple-slash. He hit 258 home runs, the seventh most by any player to spend at least half of their career at second base. He also reached the 3000 total base milestone, something only 23 primary second basemen have achieved in their careers. Utley’s league and park adjusted 117 OPS+ is better than some Hall of Fame second basemen, such as Roberto Alomar and Ryne Sandberg.

But Utley never reached 2000 hits. He ended his career with 1885 hits. For some, that’s a reason to leave him off their ballot, and I can totally see why. While he didn’t have a long, 20+ year career, he still managed to reach +64.5 bWAR, which is top 20 among second basemen of all-time.

Utley was great defensively at the keystone with +123 defensive runs saved. He racked up +17.3 defensive WAR. That safely puts him in the top 100 of all-time. Shockingly, Utley never won a Gold Glove for his efforts. There are times he deserved the Gold Glove but got snubbed of the award.