Aaron Altherr

Name: Aaron Altherr
Position: CF
Bats: RH
Throws: RH
DOB: 1/14/91 (20 as of April 1, 2011)
Height: 6’5”
Weight: 190 lbs
Acquired: 9th round, 2009 ($150,000 bonus)

Pre Draft Report: Having played both baseball and basketball coming out of high school, Altherr was considered to be raw in many facets of the game. Although he was considered raw in many facets of the game, he was heralded for his five tool potential. Showing his athletic ability, he played shortstop in high school. Although known in the scouting community, there were few published scouting reports of Aaron coming out of high school.

Career Synopsis:

Hit: Altherr’s swing is fine through the zone, though it can get a bit long at times..  The problem is that Altherr’s length gives him some natural swing and miss.  At this point Altherr’s biggest room for improvement is in his pitch recognition, learning to get himself in a position to hit for power.  35/45

Power: It wasn’t until 2013 that Altherr started putting his power into game play.  Altherr is still filling out and he has good use of his whole body into generating that power.  Right now the power plays as below average, but there is a chance that as he fills out more that it could play as average or above long term.  40/50

Speed: When underway Altherr is a plus runner and it plays as such in the field.  Due to his size it more of a long stride which makes him not very fast home to first.  The worry is that if he thickens with age his speed will decrease, and will affect his defensive abilities. 60

Glove:  Right now Altherr is a true centerfielder defensively.  As he gets older the speed is likely to decrease and Altherr will have to maximize his route running and conditioning to maintain the ability to stay in center field. 50

Arm: Over the years Altherr’s arm has been rated from average to plus.  Either way it is plenty for right field and is a weapon from center field.  55

Summary: Altherr has less upside than he did a couple of years ago, but that has been replaced by more safety.  If he can close some of the holes in his swing and stay in centerfield, he is a major league regular in center field.  In a corner he is more a fringe regular or fourth outfielder.  At this point Altherr’s floor is as a backup outfielder and should have a long major league career.

Having only played in the GCL and the NYPL, there are not many videos out there. In fact, this is the only one I could find.

It’s a little tough to see in the video, but you can see how much Altherr has to fill out. Another thing to take note of is how he is relatively short to the ball and his bat speed. The combination of these two abilities is somewhat of a surprise from someone who is still far from his potential. Altherr should be a must follow for Phillies fans this coming season.

30 thoughts on “Aaron Altherr

  1. Altherr needs to hit the weight room hard for that upper body. Definitely has the room for 15 pounds of pure muscle there and that will translate into good HR power.

    Hope he sticks at 3B.

  2. Altherr could fill the 3rd base gap problem starting this season. Since he played SS in HS, his transition to 3rd from the OF could go more smoothly than we believe. Since Mattair was drafted early a few years ago, the Phils have mistakenly ignored that position and SS in the early picks of their recent drafts. I know many here who hope they go for those position picks early in the ’11 draft…whether they use Blanton in mid-season to fill one of those positions or not.

    Meanwhile, Mattair is asking for indulgence and return to the Phils. Why should we expect anything good from him? To me, there were hints of his not putting forth the hard work he should have done, and that he didn’t take the game as seriously as is required. His “distractions”–whatever they were–allowed him to drop his pro career to “pursue other possibilities.” Now he’s back for ST. Could he emerge as a “serious” prospect for 3b?–armed with greater concentration and ambition? Worth following.

    Meanwhile, let’s keep a close eye on Altherr. An athlete, the kind the Phils love to mold into big leaguers.

    1. That’s really an unfair shot at Mattair. I’ve never read a single thing that suggested he didn’t work hard enough. Mattair is a super kid and a super athlete who unfortunately just hasn’t been able to hit the quality pitching he’s been facing. His defense improved tremendously from his hard work but hitting just isn’t that simple. Also, as for saying the Phils mistakenly ignored SS and 3B, that’s really not true either. The reality is that there just aren’t that many major league potential SS and 3B propsects after the 2nd round. A team’s best chance is to sign a few 16 yr old kids out of the Domincan and hope for the best and the Phils have done this although they stay away from the real expensive guys.

      1. Listen: IMO any guy who takes hundred$ of thousand$ to play pro ball and walks after a short time to “pursue other possibilities” is not a guy who should get any plaudits. I could excuse that if it were a matter of health restrictions. Not here.Note how many other draftees walked away after their bank accounts got filled. ??

        The Phils usually check the character of their possible draftees; they missed on this one.

        1. Kind of a harsh line of reasoning. There’s a lot that goes into “character”. The kid was 21 and opted to pursue another sport he was recruited in after facing the first athletic adversity of his life. You make it sound like he was Elijah Dukes.

          1. Did he return his bonus signing money?

            Leaving “to pursue other possibilities” reveals a hole in his character which would have been repaired if he also returned a substantial amount of the hundreds of thousands he got to play pro ball.

            When you take sums of grand monies it seems to me that you are committing yrself to the work and effort that you have been paid for.

            Walking away so quickly tells me that he didn’t feel the whole thing was worth his time and energy. Certainly not worth the effort REQUIRED of those who sign and who are told so at and after they sign…more so for those receiving such a substantial one-time paycheck that none of are likely ever to see in several lifetimes.

            I will not engage in a p—–g contest about the subject. These are my opinions together with their reasons. Disagreeing is still fine…but I’d like to have somebody discuss the issues I’ve raised about him head-on.

            Thanks.

            1. The scouts have to take some blame. Part of the job is knowing the kid. The draft is a product of baseball not the prospect so any fault is baseball’s.

              Still the “wanna be a baseball player ” in me agrees with you.

        2. “The Phils usually check the character of their possible draftees”

          Then how do you explain Kyrell Hudson? Wouldn’t run out ground balls in high school and the Phils gave him almost half a million dollars. Worst scouting report on a player from Baseball America that I’ve ever read.

          1. Good point…they missed on ONE player. Clearly their entire draft strategy is flawed and you are a genius compared to Marti Wolever and Ruben Amaro Jr.

    2. What Shortstop should the Phillies have taken in the 1st two rounds last year. Can’t make the statement without giving some examples of guys that were better prospects than Biddle and Garner.

      Cito Culver? Castellanos for 3.5 million ?

      1. Nobody will know what drafted SSs will do in their incubation in the minors. I remind you of two things:
        1-J-Roll has been on the decline at bat for 3 years now. If THAT doesn’t set off alarms in the FO, they are less competent than they appear to be;
        2-J-Roll himself was a SECOND ROUND choice. We did have a second round plus a first round choice in the last several years with one exception when we had our first pick in the second round with Dugan. No SS or 3rd baseman somewhere in there for 3 years? Can’t buy that.

        Maybe this 2011 draft will bring position players needed in the near future…..

        1. You still didn’t say who they should have picked over Biddle in the 1st or Garner in the 2nd round. If you don’t know, then it seems kind of a waste to complain about the picks.
          If you are complaining that they didn’t take a SS or 3B in rounds after 1 and 2, then I think that is weak, because they signed Anderson Gonzalez to 3rd round money and Francisco Silva to 4th round money. So they addressed the issue one month after the draft.

          Castellanos was the only SS available, that was obviously better than Biddle and Garner and he cost as much as the Phillies entire draft.

          1. Explain the past 3-4 years, not just one. The danger at these positions should not have come as a big surprise. Their complete ignoring of them may redound to the discredit of the near-future of the team at these positions.

            For these SEVERAL years they have missed the boat…and then had to give up their best SS prospect ,Villar, in a trade. Nobody is apparently ready to assume the role of a future ML SS….and also 3rd base which they hopefully are trying to fix with Altherr. Good; at least 3rd base could be answered.

            Will you be happy with that Reading guy who fields well but can’t hit a lick when J-Roll is finished? Not me.

            It seems you are saying that if you are not among the top 15 choosers at draft time, you have no chance to get a good SS. Is that yr position?

            I won’t do it myself but I’d bet dollars to donuts that records will prove you wrong. Again, J-Roll himself was chosen by the Phils in the 2nd round. Which must have been about the 40th pick in that draft. That alone belies the error in yr approach.

            In the first 40 of SSs, no SSs who’d be good can be chosen?

            They need to answer these gaps sooner than later.

            1. I don’t get it. There are other ways of acquiring players you need besides the amateur draft. Why bother filling every position when you can just swing a trade? Get a surplus of talent somewhere, anywhere. You’re not going to find a player you can be absolutely certain is filling your need beyond the first 10-15 picks.

            1. Seriously…are you 5 years old or something?

              We have one of the top 10 farm systems in baseball and are probably the deepest team in all of baseball from top to bottom. You sound like a damn fool.

            2. No Tampa is considered the deepest and they will probably improve on that by a lot in this draft, but depth of that nature for a big payroll team is worth very little. It’s the star talents that matter, and most of those have to be paid for.

              Ryan Howard, Domonic Brown and Jonathan Singleton. About one top of the 2nd round draft pick bonus money for all three of them.

              That’s beating the baseball odds by a lot.

              Long time baseball fans with a three digit IQ understand that the baseball odds always assert themselves.

              Unless Dave $$$ Montgomery is stopped from his relentless pursuit of happiness for Bud Selig, Phillies fans will be left feeling very sad.

      2. Looking at the players who played the most games at 3B and SS last year for each of the 30 teams (60 total players), 25 of them were undrafted free agents. 12 were first round picks (with 9 of them being in the first 15 picks), 6 were second round picks, and 17 were drafted after the second round.

        I suppose I’d have to go through other positions to really compare numbers, but the raw numbers above show that 51 of the 60 guys were not acquired in the second half of the first round through the end of the second round. Maybe there’s a reason why the Phillies haven’t focused on those positions given where they’ve been drafting.

  3. From BP’s new prospect guru, Jason Parks’ chat after a question on Altherr:
    The chat is free so go check it out, BP is growing into an even bigger monster than it was before.

    Bobby (Philly): What can you tell us about Aaron Altherr?

    Jason Parks: Lots. Great size, but needs to grow into his body and add strength. Power potential in the swing, with a god hit tool. Loads of athleticism. I’m a fan. High ceiling.

    1. Yeah, I think Jason probably loves our farm. He loves tall, athletic prospects. His ideal pitcher is 6’3″ 180. I think him and the Phillies think the same way.

  4. Hewitt and Buschini were two high draft picks that were expected to fall somewhere in the infield defensive spectrum. They didn’t pan out. The Phillies tried drafting guys – they just didn’t develop.

    Villar was a guy that had a real chance to develop into something – but we traded him for an Ace. Hard to knock that one.

    If and when the time comes – the Phillies will spend some of their new found cash to fill infield spot with free agents.

    I’m not worried.

  5. I really miss Villar. To me it seems that he has the goods to develop into a quick-soft hands SS with excellent range and arm. His great speed on the bases and at bat could lead him to a top of the lineup as a lead-off guy should he increase his contact rate which usually takes a couple more seasons..

    Sure, he needs probably 3 yrs to the bigs, but that would be less years than anybody playing SS in our system…including the two more recent Hispanic SSs signed who will spend at least a year in the Dominican, Venezuala, etc. leagues, and, if we’re fortunate, will arrive in the Gulf Leage Rookie pro lg. in 2012.

    Of course we got an exceptional experienced starting pitcher back, but apparently Villar was the real key to the deal according to Ed Wade, Happ notwithstanding.

    1. We got an Ace pitcher and we paid about market price. Wade should be commended for getting Happ and Villar out of that deal…even Gose was a solid piece (despite his flip for a Wallace…which was puzzling).

  6. I get the feeling Art D.’s baseball heaven is a place where the right field wall is 150 ft. from home plate, allowing teams to place four men between third and second base.

  7. Aaron Altherr looks like a worthwhile gamble to try at 3B as the most recent successful 3B drafted player(Scott Rolen) was also a very good basketball player. I hope he works out as he could move quickly if he does well and help the organization fill a hole.

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