Coghlan big fan of Utley

Facing the Phillies has provided Chris Coghlan with the opportunity to see first-hand one of his most admired players — Chase Utley.

“I don’t know him at all, but I really respect the guy for the way he plays the game and the level that he plays it at,” Coghlan said.

Coghlan, 23, was a second baseman and third baseman in the Minor Leagues before he was called up in early May to play left field.

Coghlan, like Utley, hits left-handed. And Coghlan hopes to be talked about as someone people respect for the intensity level in which he plays the game.

“I always think of Utley as a great player. He can do everything,” Coghlan said. “Steals. Plays good defense. Obviously, his offense out-shines everything else. But I just respect him, and I just call him a gamer.

“If anyone ever says that about me, it’s the ultimate compliment.”

Coghlan puts Utley in the class of Yankees great Derek Jeter.

“Jeter is still the same way, and people say the same thing about him,” Coghlan said. “He still is a great player and a winner. Utley, in the last four years, people are starting to talk about him that way. I think that’s the ultimate compliment.”

— Joe Frisaro

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