11/12/09 6:00 PM EST
Utley awarded fourth Silver Slugger
Second baseman has held grip on honor for past four years
By Todd Zolecki / MLB.com
It was announced on Thursday that he won his fourth consecutive Silver Slugger Award.
Utley hit .282 with 28 doubles, four triples, 31 home runs and 93 RBIs this season, helping the Phillies make the World Series for the second successive year.
Utley leads Major League second basemen in runs (456), hits (711), RBIs (400), on-base percentage (.392) and slugging percentage (.535) over the past four seasons. He also ranks second in home runs (121), third in doubles (156) and walks (262), fourth in triples (17) and fifth in average (.304).
He also has been hit by a pitch 90 times, which leads the Majors. The next closest player is San Francisco Giants center fielder Aaron Rowand, who has been hit 65 times.
"Sometimes I don't even like to talk about him, because he doesn't want me to," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said about Utley during the World Series. "Actually, he doesn't like for you to say a whole lot of things about him. But he's one of the most prepared, one of the most dedicated -- he has the most desire and passion to play the game of any player that I've ever been around.
NL SILVER SLUGGER AWARDS
|1B||Albert Pujols, Cards||47||135||.327|
|2B||Chase Utley, Phillies||31||93||.282|
|3B||R. Zimmerman, Nats||33||106||.292|
|SS||H. Ramirez, Marlins||24||106||.342|
|OF||Ryan Braun, Brewers||32||114||.320|
|OF||Andre Ethier, Dodgers||31||106||.272|
|OF||Matt Kemp, Dodgers||26||101||.297|
|C||Brian McCann, Braves||21||94||.281|
|P||C. Zambrano, Cubs||4||11||.217|
"I used to say Kirby Puckett was my favorite player. All those things I just said, I used to say those things about Kirby Puckett. The only thing Kirby might have on Chase is he's more flamboyant because he smiles a lot, and Chase is a little bit different. He's quiet, and he goes about his business in a real good way.
"But Chase Utley is one of the most ... he's a pleasure to be around and he's a pleasure to manage. I mean that, and I could not say enough about him because that's what I think about him. I don't want to embarrass him or nothing like that, but sometimes I tell our players, 'Just play with Chase,' because if you play with Chase, you've got a chance to be a pretty good player."
Since 1980, winners of the Silver Slugger Award have been chosen by votes of Major League managers and coaches, prohibited from selecting players from their own teams.
Mike Schmidt holds the franchise record with six Silver Sluggers (1980-84, '86).
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.