Altherr is somewhat of an enigma to Phillies fans, some of whom still seem to believe that the player who will turn 26 years old in January can be a star.
For me, Altherr has always been fourth outfielder material. He is athletic, plays solid defense, has some pop, can run a little. He just doesn’t do any of those things well enough to be a starter for a contender, at least not that I have ever seem him demonstrate.
In 2016, Altherr was another who lost time due to injury. He finally made his season debut back with the Phillies at the end of July, and has received regular playing time over the last two months.
Altherr has produced just a woeful .194/.289/.294 slash line over 204 plate appearances in 51 games spread across all three outfield positions, with a solid majority of those coming in right field.
He has just four homers, 21 RBI, 21 runs scored, and six stolen bases to this point. He has certainly not earned an automatic starting berth for 2017, and if the Phillies can find a cheap, productive, short-term right field bat in free agency, they should jump on it.
As the Phillies rebuilding program moves forward, Altherr is going to find himself pushed by Williams at some point. With Herrera and Quinn also around, that leaves him with little margin for error.
If the Phillies do not sign a veteran free agent as a new everyday right fielder, it is likely that Altherr comes to spring training as the Phillies right fielder, trying to hold off Nick Williams, with Quinn and Herrera handling center and left.