Altherr Continues Breakout Season with Slam off Kershaw

Aaron Altherr, of all people. Aaron Altherr.

A career .234 hitting with only 25 home runs in four seasons with the Phillies, 26-year-old Aaron Altherr became the first person ever to hit a grand slam off Dodgers’ ace Clayton Kershaw.

The Dodgers had three home runs themselves but it wasn’t enough to counteract Altherr’s one sweet shot. History is always more fun to watch then no one is remotely prepared for a great moment to happen, which is exactly what happened here.

These are words written by a professional writer for a site that claims their main vertical writers are the primary journalists and their local writers are just fans. This is pure, uneducated click bait.

Aaron Altherr has been a bit out of the Phillies’ consciousness because of his injury and the emergence of Nick Williams and Rhys Hoskins, and the arrival of J.P. Crawford and Jorge Alfaro. So let’s take this analysis piece by piece.

A career .234 hitting

I believe she means hitter, and yes .234 is the correct career batting average for Aaron Altherr. Altherr hit .241 as a rookie in 2015, before a wrist injury caused him to be off the field and ineffective last year. He hit .197 as he lacked strength to drive the ball and the confidence to swing the bat with authority. Now fully healthy, he is hitting .276 over a 95 game sample size. That is with a bit of a slump since coming back from the disabled list. Either way, .234 is not Altherr’s true talent this year.

with only 25 home runs in four seasons with the Phillies

Once again we have a factual statistic. Here are Altherr’s games played per year:

  • 2014: 2 Games (Altherr came up as a midseason injury replacement)
  • 2015: 39 Games (Altherr came up for good in mid August and played out the rest of the year as a regular)
  • 2016: 57 Games (Altherr missed the first half of the year to a wrist injury that sapped his power)
  • 2017: 95 Games (Missed over a month to a hamstring injury)

Even if we factor in 57 games of compromised wrist Altherr he is on a 22 home run per 162 game pace. He has 17 home runs in 95 games this year and is slugging .521. This is not Ben Revere here, this is a player with 25+ home run a year power.

26-year-old Aaron Altherr became the first person ever to hit a grand slam off Dodgers’ ace Clayton Kershaw

I had to include this again, because it is kind of cool and awesome. However, more to the point, Aaron Altherr vs LHPs is only hitting .237 (thanks to a .211 BABIP), but is at a 11% BB%, 16.5% K%, and .278 ISO line against them. Clayton Kershaw is a lefty, and even though he is the best lefty in the game, Aaron Alther is one of the best in the Phillies lineup at hitting lefties (one of the other Rhys Hoskins had just worked a long at bat for a walk in the previous plate appearance).

History is always more fun to watch then no one is remotely prepared for a great moment to happen, which is exactly what happened here.

The historical thing was that Kershaw had gone this far without allowing a grand slam. Among non-Ben Lively batters, Altherr is second on the Phillies ISO vs LHPs behind Rhys Hoskins (the more amazing thing might be that Altherr hit a grand slam and that Rhys didn’t hit a 3 run homer). Altherr was one of the most likely players in the Phillies’ lineup to hit a home run off of Clayton Kershaw.

On the note of good writing, here are somethings you should read about last night.

Photo by Tom Haggerty

Author: Matt Winkelman

Matt Winkelman
Matt is originally from Mt. Holly, NJ, but after a 4 year side track to Cleveland for college he now resides in Madison, WI. His work has appeared on Phuture Phillies, The Good Phight, and TheDynastyGuru.

1 comment

  1. Matt

    Thank you

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