10/28/09 12:30 PM EST
Utley lets his big bat do the talking
Phils' quiet second baseman has done nothing but hit
By Todd Zolecki / MLB.com
Check the video room just a few steps from the Phillies' dugout at Citizens Bank Park or the bank of laptops set up somewhere in the visitor's clubhouse when Philadelphia is on the road. Utley will be there. He always is.
But even Utley needed to take a break from his film study of opposing pitchers after the Phillies clinched the National League pennant Oct. 21. He said Tuesday at Yankee Stadium that he watched film of Yankees pitchers for the first time on Monday. It was the longest Utley had gone since the beginning of the season without watching video of his opponents.
The extra work has helped Utley become arguably the best second baseman in baseball.
Utley hit .282 with 31 home runs and 93 RBIs this season.
FIRST AT SECOND
But from 2005, when he became an everyday player for the first time, through this season, Utley ranks first among second basemen in slugging percentage (.538), on-base percentage (.390), runs (545), home runs (193) and RBIs (497). He ranks second in hits (863) and walks (329); third in doubles (195) and triples (23); and fourth in average (.303).
He has also led the Majors in hit by pitches each of the past three seasons.
He gets hits, he gets hit.
And he keeps playing.
But quietly. Shortstop Jimmy Rollins predicted on The Jay Leno Show on Monday that the Phillies would win the World Series in five games. Rollins said it tongue-in-cheek on a comedy show, but the media ran with it.
Utley would never have made such a prediction, but probably because he never would have been asked to appear on Leno.
Utley isn't much of a talker publicly, but he has a dry sense of humor. Shown the front page of Tuesday's New York Post, which had an image of Phillies center fielder Shane Victorino wearing a skirt, Utley smiled.
"Pretty cute," Utley said. "Shane looks pretty good. I would say Ryan [Howard] might look a little bit better in that skirt than Shane."
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.