Nick Ahmed

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Nicholas Mark Ahmed

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Biographical Information[edit]

Shortstop Nick Ahmed made his major league debut in 2014. He is the nephew of college coach Raphael Cerrato.

Amateur Career[edit]

Ahmed was a two-way star in high school, scoring 1,129 points in basketball and making state All-Star teams in both sports. As a freshman at UConn, he hit .288/.343/.366 in 2009. He improved to .300/.367/.375 with 57 runs in 63 games in 2010. He stole 34 bases in 42 tries. He led the Big East Conference in steals, tied for 17th in NCAA Division I. With the Bourne Braves that summer, producing at only a .212/.253/.312 clip, though he did steal 17 bases while only being caught twice. He was 6th in the Cape Cod League in stolen bases. His junior year, he hit .326/.425/.437 and went 23-for-29 in steal attempts despite missing 15 games due to injury. He was second-team All-Big East and was among the conference leaders in steals (4th) and runs (51, tied for 5th).

Minors[edit]

He was selected by the Atlanta Braves in the second round of the 2011 amateur draft; the scout was Kevin Barry. The 85th overall pick, he was Atlanta's second, following Sean Gilmartin. He signed for a $417,600 bonus and made his pro debut that summer with the Danville Braves, hitting .262/.346/.379 with 46 runs, 4 home runs and 18 stolen bases in 24 tries in 59 games. He fielded .971 at SS. He led Appalachian League shortstops in putouts (88), double plays (40) and fielding percentage and was was 8th in the league in swipes and tied for 7th in runs. Baseball America ranked him as the league's #18 prospect, between Madison Boer and Jordan Scott.

With the Lynchburg Hillcats in 2012, he hit .269/.337/.391 with 6 home runs while leading the Carolina League with 36 doubles (tied with Michael Almanzar), 40 steals (only caught 10 times; 8 more steals than runner-up Delvi Cid), 84 runs scored, a .963 fielding percentage at SS, 211 putouts at short, 457 assists at short and 99 double plays at short. He also led Braves farmhands in doubles (4 ahead of Ernesto Mejia) and runs and was second to Luis Durango in swipes. He was named the league All-Star utility infielder (Xander Bogaerts was picked as the SS) and was also honored as Mills Cup Finals MVP after hitting .357 in seven postseason games. In the finale, he went 4 for 5 with 3 doubles to lead Lynchburg to the title over the Winston-Salem Dash. Baseball America listed him as the loop's 13th-best prospect, between Hanser Alberto and Edward Salcedo and as the top defensive shortstop prospect in the circuit. He then played for Phoenix in the Arizona Fall League.

Prior to the 2013 campaign, he was traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks with Martin Prado, Randall Delgado, Zeke Spruill and Brandon Drury in the deal that brought Justin Upton and Chris Johnson to Atlanta. Baseball America put him down as Arizona's 7th-best prospect, between Chris Owings and A.J. Pollock. He began the 2013 season with the Mobile Bay Bears but started pitifully (.139/.216/.169 after 166 AB). He did better the rest of the way but still ended up hitting only .236 in 136 games. In 2014, he was assigned to the AAA Reno Aces, where he was hitting .324 after 79 games at the end of June.

Majors[edit]

Ahmed was called up to Arizona on June 29, 2014, with Chris Owings and Cliff Pennington both on the disabled list. He made his debut the same day against the San Diego Padres, going 1 for 3 in a 2-1 loss; his first hit was a 7th-inning single against Odrisamer Despaigne. He played 25 games that first season, hitting an even .200 with 1 hoemr and 4 RBIs. In 2015, he was the starting shortstop for the D-Backs, hitting .226 in 134 games with 9 homers and 34 RBIs. While he provided solid defence, his OPS+ was only 69. In 2016, he shared the shortstop position with Owings, who also saw time in centerfield and at second base. In 90 games, he hit .218 with 4 homers and 20 RBIs and his OPS+ fell even lower, to just 46. However, he bounced back in 2017 as on June 27th, he was hitting .251 with 6 homers and 21 RBIs in 53 games. That day, however, he suffered a broken hand when hit by a pitch thrown by Trevor Rosenthal of the St. Louis Cardinals in the 8th inning. His season was over, just like that.

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