Timothy Ian Atherton
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 2", Weight 209 lb.
Tim Atherton has pitched as high as AAA.
He debuted in the Claxton Shield in 2007, going 0 for 6 with two walks and a run and pitching 1 2/3 IP (1 H, 3 BB, 3 R, 1 ER) for New South Wales. He was signed by Minnesota Twins scout Howard Norsetter. In the 2008 Claxton Shield, he hit .357/.438/.571 and tied James Linger for 7th in slugging. With New South Wales in the 2009 Claxton Shield, he batted .243/.349/.415 and allowed four runs in two innings, going 0-1. In 2009, he was used as an outfielder with the GCL Twins (.375/.524/.500 in 5 G) and the AZL Padres (.212/.241/.231 in 21 G). He was 0-1 with a 7.71 ERA for New South Wales in the 2009-2010 Claxton Shield and batted .313/.353/.531.
When the Australian Baseball League was re-established in 2010-2011, Atherton became a full-time pitcher. He was 2-3 with 3 saves and a 4.67 ERA, walking 19 in 27 innings. His 16 pitching appearances led the team and were 4th in the loop. He tied Phil Brassington for 9th in walks. In the summer of 2011, he was active in the US minors for the first time as a pitcher, playing for the Elizabethton Twins (3-0, 1.50, 14 H, 29 K in 24 IP) and GCL Twins (1 H, 2 R in 8 IP). With Canberra in the 2011-2012 ABL, he struggled (0-1, 9.53). He went 1-2 with a 3.10 ERA for the 2012 Beloit Snappers, allowing only 30 hits and striking out 59 in 49 1/3 IP but issuing 36 walks.
The right-hander had a strong winter with the Sydney Blue Sox at 2-1, 2.44. He was third in the 2012-2013 ABL in ERA, behind Craig Anderson and Chris Smith. He continued his fine work into the summer with the Cedar Rapids Kernels, going 8-5 with a save and a 2.54 ERA, striking out 102 in 95 2/3 IP. He was 8th in the Midwest League in strikeouts despite not being in the top 50 in innings. He teamed with Tyler Duffey and Josue Montanez in a no-hitter against Beloit, striking out the side in the 9th to seal the deal. The Sacramento River Cats took him in the AAA portion of the 2013 Rule V Draft. He split 2014 between the Stockton Ports (6-2, 5.06 in 15 G) and Sacramento (0-1, 6 R in 1 IP). In the 2014-2015 ABL, he was 6-2 with a 3.56 ERA and 61 whiffs in 60 2/3 IP for the Canberra Cavalry. He tied Markus Solbach for 4th in the ABL in wins, was 4th in strikeouts (between Matthew Williams and Anderson) and 6th in ERA (between Makoto Aiuchi and Anderson).
Atherton spent the summer of 2015 with Stockton (1.17 ERA, 10 H, 4 BB, 32 K in 23 IP) and the Midland Rockhounds (5-4, 4.96 in 15 G). He was out of the minors due to labrum surgery in 2016 and played for Australia in the 2016 Haarlem Baseball Week. In the 2016-2017 ABL, he was 3-0 with a 1.37 ERA out of the Canberra bullpen, tying Zech Lemond and Josh Tols for 7th in games pitched (16). He then was on the Australian national team for the 2017 World Baseball Classic. He did very well, shutting down the powerful Japanese national team for four innings, carrying a 1-0 lead. After a 5th-inning double by Hayato Sakamoto and a Seiya Suzuki single, Lachlan Wells relieved and allowed one runner to score. Only Travis Blackley worked more innings for Australia in the tournament.
He was 3-1 with a 4.15 ERA for the Brisbane Bandits in the 2017-2018 ABL but struck out 45 in 34 2/3 IP. He just missed the top 10 in strikeouts then whiffed 11 in game 2 of the finals as Brisbane beat the Perth Heat to stay alive; they would win the title. He had a 7-0, 2.87 record for the 2018-2019 Bandits with 37 K to 6 BB in 34 2/3 IP. He finished 7th in ERA (between Dushan Ruzic and Steven Kent), 4th with 67 K (between Solbach and Frank Gailey) and tied Kent and Josh Guyer for the win lead. He won the decisive game in the championship series, beating Perth with a 10-K effort, and was named MVP of the finals.
- Flintoff & Dunn Australian Baseball Almanac
- Australian Baseball Federation
- 2013 Twins Media Guide
- Australian Baseball League
- World Baseball Classic