ProspectNation 2011: #19 Aaron Altherr- OF – Phillies Nation
2011 Top 25 Prospects

ProspectNation 2011: #19 Aaron Altherr- OF

After splitting his second season of professional baseball with the Gulf Coast League Phillies and the Williamsport Crosscutters, outfielder Aaron Altherr is already turning heads and moving up the Phillies prospect rankings at a fast pace. A 9th round selection in the 2009 draft, the 20-year-old Altherr is known to be a contact hitter.

The righty hitting Altherr debuted with the Gulf Coast League Phillies after signing his first professional contract in 2009 and batted .214 with 1 HR, 11 RBI and 6 steals in 28 games. In 1 less game played in the GCL this past season, Altherr showed improvement and posted a .304 batting average with 1 HR, 15 RBI and 10 steals. He was promoted to Williamsport on July 22nd.

With the short season Class A Crosscutters of the New York-Penn League, Altherr continued a strong season with a .287 average, 7 doubles, 3 triples, 10 RBI and 2 steals in 28 games. Altherr made such a strong impression that he was named one of the NYPL’s top 20 prospects by Baseball America. Additionally, Baseball America listed him among the top 10 prospects in the Gulf Coast League following his near even split for the season between the two leagues. Altherr began his year in extended spring training.

As a young hitter, Altherr struggled with pitch recognition and focused greatly, in 2010, on his need to hit opposing pitchers’ change ups. His improvements were clear in his statistics, as the season went on. In the GCL, Altherr struck out 22 times and reached via walk only 3 times. After his promotion, Altherr struck out just 13 times and increased his walks to 8.

At 6’5″, 180 pounds, Altherr is regarded as one of several raw, but extremely athletic, outfielders that the Phillies have collected in the annual amateur draft over the past few years. A key to Altherr’s game, much like the other unseasoned talent, is that he has athleticism that can not be taught.

Altherr, who was born in Germany, played shortstop and was a premiere pitcher at Agua Fria High School in Arizona, but was moved to the outfield once he began his career in the Phillies organization.

Expect to see the man with the projected high ceiling, Altherr, suit up for A Level Lakewood in the coming season, as he will attempt to help the BlueClaws chase a third straight South Atlantic League championship.


Jay Floyd is PhilliesNation’s minor league contributor.  You can read more from Jay by visiting his web site,

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  1. Hyunno Lee

    January 17, 2011 at 11:05 pm

    is he a German? then how I pronounce “Altherr”?

  2. GoPhils

    January 18, 2011 at 12:12 am

    It’s interesting that Baseball America has him ranked much higher in the Phils system, i think 10th. there’s a lot of porjection involved with a guy who hasn’t even reached Lakewood. I have heard him compared to Brown. Brown is also tall and lean and a great athelete, having also starred in football. Altherr was a fine basketball player. Brown was also a fine pitcher in high school, just like Altherr. Furthermore, Brown did poorly in his first exposure to pro ball, just like Altherr. It took time for Brown’s power to come, and Altherr has not shown it yet, although the doubles he hit might be flashes. He’s a big kid who probably just stopped growing vertically and could start to put on more weight. Power could start to come and this might be what Baseball America sees.

  3. Jay Floyd

    January 18, 2011 at 1:15 am

    Yes, about the body type filling out…he’s not the only one. An OF I will have ranked higher, Jiwan James, is in the same boat. He too was a pitcher, has been compared to D-Brown, etc. Greg Legg told me, regarding James,- wait till he gets his man-strength…watch out! The same may apply for Aaron.

    As for the exact pronunciation…I’ve heard Alth-air, and Alth-er. We’ll clear it up this year as he moves up to full season ball, hopefully.

  4. Greg

    January 18, 2011 at 3:47 am

    From what side of the plate does Altherr bat? Since he’s right-handed, I’d assume he bats Right-handed.

    What position did he primarily play in the outfield?

  5. betasigmadeltashag

    January 18, 2011 at 10:09 am

    Since I never really followed the minor leagues that much before I found Philliesnation 3 years ago, I was wondering how well these places like Baseball in American can rank these guys that have only played in short season a or A ball. It seems to me that the rankings change from ;year to year. So I guess I am asking is how realistic is it to expect these guys panning out in 3-5 year and making an impact on the Big Club

  6. bfo_33

    January 18, 2011 at 12:43 pm

    How’s his arm? Has he played all around the of, or focused on one position? Sounds like he has the speed for center. Does he bat leadoff, or down in the order? Hope to see his strike-out/walk ratio continue to improve.

  7. Jay Floyd

    January 18, 2011 at 5:26 pm

    2nd paragraph states Altherr bats right.

    He played CF and LF in 2010 for Williamsport. Was strictly CF in GCL. Batted leadoff for Williamsport.

    Beta, I have mixed feeling about your scouting question. Some people review prospects based on old info or other people’s reports or stat lines. While BA is a very reputable and is a good source for info, I feel confident in sharing my own rankings as I’ve seen/met/interviewed/watched-behind-the-scenes 85% of the guys I will talk about.

    One example of outdated info is the BA writer gave quotes on Brody Colvin after this off-season’s Phils prospect list was released. He talked about Colvin’s fastball speed, and cited numbers from April or May. Colvin’s speed increased as the 2010 season went on and BA wasn’t aware of it. So my thought in regard to that is beware of loose or not-up-to-date info when reading scouting info.

    However, some casual advice may be to take rankings in groups. If a guy is ranked top 5, consider it just that…these 5 guys are the top 5 guys. Don’t take 3 as someone’s definitive lock to be better than 5.

    I’d dish that advice out with my own ranks (thus far, or what is to come). Don’t consider a 21 ranked guy as the writer’s guarantee to be better than the 23 or 24 guy.

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