Chase Utley is holding on to the top spot for NL second baseman in the MLB All-Star fan voting with an impressive .305/.364/.474 triple-slash line, 5 homeruns, and 33 RBIs. Although, it wasn’t even a month ago that Utley was hitting .333. Since May 24th, Utley is hitting just .253 while slugging a traumatic .326 in 24 games. That’s a batting average 80 points lower and a slugging percentage 220 points lower than his numbers prior to the date!
The Phillies, however, are streaking at the moment, winning eight of their last ten. Perhaps Utley has heated up with the team? Wrong. In those 10 games, Utley is hitting .243 and slugging .324 with just 3 RBIs. His numbers have been visibly declining as the season progresses. Conclusion: we can call April and May just a “hot start” and his current numbers are deceiving of how he is actually producing.
Utley typically performs well in what his former manager Charlie Manuel would call “hittin’ season,” or July. Unfortunately, the following month of August is indisputably his weakest offensive month, given his career record. The fantasy owners of Utley have a decision to make:
A) Hold on to Utley and pray that he heats back up with the weather, but take the sure hit in August.
B) Believe in Utley’s decreasing numbers and sell him high while he still has value as a .300-hitter and soon-to-be All-Star.
For most cases, I suggest Option B.