By PATRICK GORDON | Managing Editor
The culmination of two decades worth of bruises and cuts may finally come this week for Craig Biggio via a phone call from the Hall of Fame.
He is not the best player on this year's ballot, but his stellar career numbers coupled with the fact he has no known ties to performance-enhancing drugs give him an excellent chance of being elected.
Fast forward a few years from now and we may be having a similar conversation about Phillies second baseman Chase Utley.
Biggio played in 2,850 games while Utley has appeared in just 1,192, so looking purely at career totals does not make much sense. What does make sense is looking at the figures each put up during the peak of their career, conceding the notion that Utley's best days are behind him.
Baseball-Reference uses a statistic called WAR7 that sums the seven best WAR seasons for a player, so looking at the graph to the right you can see Utley has an advantage. Biggio carries a significant advantage in WAR, but that partly is because he has a ten year advantage in playing time compared to Utley.
JAWS is a newer metric, measuring Hall of Fame worthiness by averaging WAR and WAR7 together. Again, Utley falls short but that simply is because of Biggio's advantage in games played.
Given that Utley has played just ten seasons, here is a comparison of his numbers to Biggio's first decade in the majors:
The figures indicate it is the numbers Biggio put up on the backend of his career that truly give him a boost towards the Hall of Fame.
Due in part to injuries, Utley likely will not have a similar resurgence at the end of his career.
For one final comparison, here is how the two compare averaging their career totals over a traditional 162 game season: