The sabremetricians certainly knew. From 2005 to 2009 Utley was either third or second in bWAR for Position Players, though he never finished higher than seventh in MVP voting. He had six seasons (including one where he finished first) where he was in the top ten in Defensive bWAR, though he never won a Gold Glove. This is not meant to make it sound like Utley was disrespected. He was a six-time All-Star, five of which were voted by the fans, but in terms of traditional metrics, he was not a major factor to be a league leader. The only one he did finish first was in Runs Scored (2006) but his Slash Line in Philadelphia of .282/.366/.481 is more than respectable as his 233 Home Runs; especially for a Second Baseman!
The fact that Utley’s peak and the Phillies multiple playoff appearances coincided are not an accident. Philadelphia won the World Series in 2008 and got there largely because of Utley’s regular season. He would actually have an incredible 2009 World Series, one that saw him tie the record for Home Runs in the Fall Classic but as the Phillies were on the losing side of that series the accomplishment is not as celebrated as it should be.Hopefully we are helping turn the tide on the Chase Utley bandwagon!