What to do with Chase Utley?

Chase Utley

All 2009 Fantasy Articles | 2009 Position Rankings

While Dustin Pedroia and Ian Kinsler both broke out in a big way last year, there is no second baseman I’d rather own than Chase Utley. That said, Utley is one of the toughest players to get a read on heading into draft season. There’s no doubting the Philly slugger’s studliness — his average season since 2005 is a cool .305-29-103-110-13, and there are few cushier gigs in baseball than hitting third in Philly’s stacked lineup. But after belting 25 homers before the break last season, Utley’s power evaporated in the second half thanks to a hip injury that required offseason surgery. He says he’ll be back in time for Opening Day and early spring training reports have been positive, but owners are still understandably concerned. When healthy, Utley is not only a surefire first-round selection but, considering the lack of depth at second base, he’s also a likely top-five pick in most drafts. How dramatically should the injury concerns affect his draft stock? I suppose that depends on how lucky you feel. Punk.

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