It could be a stretch, but the young Phillies outfielder is making a case to play in the All-Star game this summer
No one is more surprised than Phillies fans at the production Aaron Altherr is showing on an everyday basis in the outfield. Playing over the injured Howie Kendrick in left field, half of Altherr’s 22 hits have been for extra-bases.
Hitting a three-run home run in the bottom of the eighth to push the Phillies towards an extra-innings win, Altherr is making the case to play in the Mid-Summer Classic.
Unfortunately for the 26-year-old, he’s not on the ballot.
The German native missed the cut when it came to having his name on the official All-Star game ballot, which is available online at MLB.com. However, the Phillies are making a push to get Altherr onto the field through a write-in campaign.
Once an afterthought in the Phillies organization Altherr is turning into a productive everyday hitter. Managing a .338 batting average in 23 games Altherr is on the edge of qualifying for one of the leagues best averages.
Because he sat on the bench to start the year, Altherr does not have enough at-bats to qualify as a statistical leader. According to Major League Baseball, “a batter must have 3.1 plate appearances per team game played…to qualify for league leadership in AVG, OBP or SLG.”
Thus since the Phils have played 30 games, Altherr would need 93 at-bats to qualify, 28 more than he currently has.
Had Altherr qualified he’d be third among National League outfielders with 50 at-bats with his .338 average, behind only Bryce Harper and Jon Jay.
As mentioned early, it’s a stretch Altherr gets to the All-Star Game this year considering he’s not on the ballot and his stats aren’t “qualified.” Philadelphia has made successful All-Star ballot pushes in the past with Shane Victorino and Carlos Ruiz, while others such as Jayson Werth fell short.
Add the expected drop in playing time once Kendrick is healthy, and Altherr’s chances of qualifying in the statistical categories are even worse.
Currently, Cesar Hernandez has the best opportunity of representing the Phillies in Miami, with Odubel Herrera also having a shot. Voting for the All-Star Game runs through June 29.