After a surprising debut, Altherr took a huge step back in 2016 returning from injury.
Oh boy. How the thoughts on Aaron Altherr have changed in a year time.
After bursting on to the scene late in 2015, Altherr would finish the season as a regular in right field. He slashed .241/.338/.489 (.827 OPS), finished with five homers and 22 RBI, stole six bases, and played stellar defense.
Altherr finished with a very impressive 1.7 WAR through just 39 games and 161 plate appearances.
As mentioned, he was a lock heading into spring training 2016 to be the everyday right fielder, but a wrist injury side-lined Altherr for the first 103 games of the season.
Altherr just wasn’t the same player. He finished the year hitting just .202 with a miserable .597 OPS in 227 plate appearances.
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Hope could still be out on the soon-to-be 26-year-old outfielder. He’s versatile in that he can play all three outfield positions at an above average level (2.19 RF/9 for his career), he’s still a terrific athlete with great speed for his size (6’5″, 215 pounds – with 13 stolen bases in 98 career games), and has shown some power potential with 30 extra-base hits in his short career.
However, he’ll have to earn his way back up the ranks before the Phillies give him an everyday opportunity again.
Regardless of his numbers, his tools will help Altherr remain an option as a platoon player/extra outfielder heading into 2017, and maybe he’s better off in that role. If so, and if he can show he’s healthy, Altherr could be a solid option for the role next season.