The Mets have claimed former Phillies outfielder Aaron Altherr off waivers from the Giants. Altherr had only managed one AB in a Giants uniform before being DFA’d for the second time in a month. The Phillies had also sent him packing on May 4th.
New York currently faces a shortage of outfielders with Brandon Nimmo, Michael Conforto and Jeff McNeil all on the injured list. Conforto has been on the shelf all week due to a concussion while Nimmo and McNeil were just placed on the IL within the last two days. For the time being, Altherr should be getting some AB’s with while those two heal.
Altherr’s Philly Career Included Some Bad Luck
After a rookie campaign in which he slugged just below .500 through 161 plate-appearances in 2015, the tall outfielder looked like a potential diamond in the rough. While never an elite prospect, Altherr had the frame to be looked upon as a potential big league power hitter.
Unfortunately for Altherr, a severe injury struck at the worst possible time. In Spring Training, 2016, then 25 year old Aaron Altherr suffered a right wrist injury that would sideline him for much of the 2016 season. Wrist injuries are very tough for hitters to come back from and as a result, the Altherr that returned in late July was a shell of himself. Altherr slashed just .197/.300/288 through 227 plate-appearances and hit just four home-runs that year.
After losing a crucial year of development when he would have had regular AB’s, Altherr bounced back in 2017. In what was his best season with the Phillies, Altherr managed a .272/.340/.516 line with 19 home-runs. He did this while platooning in right/pinch-hitting for much of the year and looked like he could be a part of the team’s long-term plans.
The success didn’t carry over to 2018, however. Altherr’s strikeout rate sky-rocketed and he eventually lost his starting job to Nick Williams. Playing time became even harder to come by this year as the additions of Harper and McCutchen added more even more options. After going 1-30 in 2019, the Phillies decided to move on from the out of options Altherr.
Still just 28, Altherr has reclamation project potential. The power numbers were there and he once led the league in pitches seen per at-bat. In the right situation, Aaron Altherr could certainly be an asset.