Current Team:Philadelphia Phillies
Chase Cameron Utley was born on December 17, 1978 in Pasadena, CA. He graduated from Long Beach Polytechnic High School in 1997 and headed down the beach to UCLA, where he logged a career 177 games. During his career at UCLA he hit .342 with 174 RBIs and is 2nd on the UCLA career hit list with 108, while ranking 4th on the all-time home run list with 53. During his Junior season, Utley hit a whopping .382 and drove in 69 RBIs in only 64 games. In 2000, he was awarded not only the Outstanding Player of the Oklahoma City Regional but was also named as a 1st-team all American.
Minor League Career
Drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies with their 1st pick (15th overall), Chase Utley made his professional baseball debut with the Batavia Mudhens and was named the Phillies minor league player of the month in August 2000.
In 2001, Utley spend the entire season in Clearwater with the Threshers, leading the team in home runs (16), 2nd in hits (120) and 2nd in stolen bases (19) while being named tot he Florida State League All-Star Team.
During the 2002 season, the Phillies attempted to convert Utley to a 3rd baseman in order to move him up quicker through the system and due to deficiencies and the Major League level, however the experiment was short-lived as he quickly moved back to 2nd base, his natural position, when he returned for spring training in 2003 and occasionally when he reported to the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Red Barons (Now currently affiliated with the New York Yankees). In 2002, Utley set the Red Barons single season record for doubles (39), lead the team in home runs (17), was third in the International league in extra base hits (57) and received the Paul Owens Award for being the best player in the Phillies minor league system.
In Between the Minors and Majors
In 2003, Chase Utley began the season, not only as a second baseman, but as the Phillies 25th Man. He made his Major League debut on April 4 against Pittsburgh, however it was a pinch hitting experience in which is struck out. Shortly after, he was optioned to Triple A Scranton, only to be recalled again on April 24 as a replacement for the injured Placido Polanco. He made his first career state on April 24, at second base, and his first career hit, registered as his 3rd career at bat was a grand slam. Utley went 2 for 4 with a homr run and 4 RBIs on the day. Utley was then optioned back to Triple A Scranton, again when Polanco was activated on May 1. Utley continued to rip up Triple A, twice being named Phillies Minor League player of the week and was named Red Barons Player of the Year by batting .323 with 80 runs and a .390 OBP. Utley was then recalled for the rest of the season on August 14, 2003 and became the everyday second baseman as Polanco was moved to 3rd base. Utley finished the season batting .239 with a .322 OBP, 2 Homeruns, 10 doubles and 21 RBIs. He also has the dubious distinction of being the final batter in Veterans Stadium history, grounding out against the Atlanta Braves on September 28.
Utley started the 2004 in Triple A Scranton Wilkes-Barre, batting .400 with 2 homer runs and 6 RBIs prior to being recalled on May 8 of 2004. Utley generated the first of many hitting streaks (11) in May 2004, batting .364 during the streak. Utley even played at first on occasion, the first time being June 12 versus Minnesota. Utley was sent back to Triple A on June 15 but Quickly recalled on June 24, when Ricky Ledee went on the DL. He remained in the league for the rest of the season and averaged 1 RBI every 4.68 at bats and was considered one of the best pinch hitters that season, batting .355 with 2 doubles, 3 home runs, 10 RBIs and 3 walks.
Major League Career
2005 was Utley's first full season in the majors and served as the teams 1st/2nd baseman until the departure of Placido Polanco in May which installed him as the starting 2nd baseman for good. Utley batted .291 (.376 OBP) with 93 runs, 158 hits, 39 doubles, 28 home runs and 105 RBIs. Utley's 26 home runs as a 2nd baseman are tied for the most in Phillies history from that position (Utley hit 2 as a first baseman).
- MLB All-Star (2006–07)
- Selected by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 2nd round of the free-agent draft - did not sign (June 3, 1997).
- Selected by the Philadelphia Phillies in the 1st round (15th pick overall) of the free-agent draft (June 5, 2000 - signed July 29, 2000).