Name: Aaron Altherr
DOB: 1/14/91 (20 as of April 1, 2011)
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: Altherr started his career in the Gulf Coast League following him signing with the Phillies in 2009. In a limited amount of at bats Altherr struggled. This is certainly not uncommon for a recent high school graduate in the GCL. He ended up posting a .214 average and a .568 OPS in just 84 at bats.
2010 was somewhat of a breakout year for Aaron. Many did not suspect that he would begin producing so early in his career. This lead to him shooting up Phillies prospect lists. He began the season in extended spring training until the GCL began. There he hit .304 with a homerun and 10 stolen bases. This prompted the Phillies to have him finish season in the New York Penn League. There he hit .287 and showed a much better SO/BB ratio.
Having impressed in both leagues, Baseball America ranked him in both leagues in their annual league rankings. In the GCL rankings he ranked 8th, right behind Phillies first round pick Jesse Biddle. They praised him for his plus speed and potential to hit for power.
In his NYPL scouting report they again talked about his plus speed and power potential. Baseball America had this to add to his GCL report.
As Altherr fills out his lanky, fast-twitch frame, he figures to develop at least average power. He can get pull-happy at times, but he has shown the ability to drive the ball from line to line. He hammers first-pitch fastballs but struggles when pitched backwards.
Baseball America also talked about how Altherr’s game has matured in all facets of the game.
Heading into 2011 Altherr was ranked 10th by Baseball America and 18th by John Sickels.
Scouting Report: Below is an assessment of Altherr’s raw tools, rated on the traditional 20-80 scouting scale. The grades are my estimation based on what I’ve read and those I’ve talked to. The second number is a future projection, the first number is the current assessment:
Hit For Average: 55
Hit For Power: 45/55
Throwing Arm: 55
Summary: Altherr has average to a tick above tools across the board. His fielding tool is rated for his outfield ability, but the move to 3B throws a bit of uncertainty into the ranking. His power is currently a tick below average, but could project as a tick above, maybe even more. His best strength right now is that he has no discernible weakness. The Phillies haven’t had a legit 3B prospect in a long time, Altherr is definitely an interesting guy to watch in 2011.
Upside: Altherr has much as upside as anyone in the system. He projects for plus speed and at least average power, if not more. This past season we finally started to see some of the potential. This is the reason why he is now considered one of the Phillies top prospects and not just someone to keep an eye on. It’s difficult to project numbers for Altherr since he is still growing, but you can imagine a player that hit close to .300 with 20 HR’s and 30 SB’s a year. This of course is just his upside, which might take 4-5 years, if it even comes to fruition. Having played shortstop in high school, the Phillies will try him at third base this season. He will also follow the Domonic Brown plan and begin the season in Lakewood.
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.
Profile updated 21, February 2011.