Nick Ahmed

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Nicholas Mark Ahmed

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Biographical Information[edit]

Shortstop Nick Ahmed has seen action in six seasons with the Arizona Diamondbacks. He is the nephew of college coach Raphael Cerrato, and his brother Mike Ahmed played in the minors.

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 and 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, he batted .212/.253/.312, though he did steal 17 bases while only being caught twice, good for 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).


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 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 the league's 18th best 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 as well as 211 putouts, 457 assists and 99 double plays at shortstop. 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 All-Star utility infielder (Xander Bogaerts was picked as the shortstop) and was 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 rated him the loop's 13th-best prospect, between Hanser Alberto and Edward Salcedo and the top defensive shortstop prospect in the circuit. He 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 named him 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 at bats). 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.


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 homer and 4 RBI. In 2015, he was the starting shortstop for the D-Backs, hitting .226 in 134 games with 9 homers and 34 RBI. While he provided solid defense, his OPS+ was a less than fierce 69. In 2016, he shared shortstop with Owings and hit .218 with 4 homers and 20 RBI. He bounced back in 2017 and was hitting .251 with 6 homers and 21 RBI in 53 games when he suffered a broken hand on a hit by a pitch thrown by Trevor Rosenthal of the St. Louis Cardinals, ending his season.

Ahmed was the National League Player of the Month for August 2019, sharing the award with rookie Aristides Aquino. He hit .258 with 7 homers and 23 RBI during the month but won the distinction largely for being the best player on a team that went 16-11 to reinsert itself into playoff contention. After batting .234/.290/.411 in 153 games in 2018, he finished 2019 with a new personal best slash line of .254/.316/.437 in 158 games.

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