Ahmed went from the Braves to the Diamondbacks, the first organizational change of his career since being selected in the second round of the 2011 draft out of Connecticut.
Suffice to say, he worked his way through it.
After hitting .138 in his first two months at Double-A Mobile, Ahmed tweaked his approach to borrow some of the old along with some of the new and hit .284 through the final three-plus months of the regular season. He finished hitting .236/.288/.324 overall with 26 stolen bases in 33 attempts.
Even in the hard times, Ahmed never carried his offensive woes into the field, as the 23-year-old won the minor league Gold Glove at shortstop—an award that encompassed all minor league levels.
“It’s a great award. It kind of recognizes some of the hard work I put in and the focus I’ve put on it,” Ahmed said. “A lot of time the offensive statistics and the numbers get more recognition and the defensive part of the game gets forgotten. There is definitely more to the game than just hitting. Defense. Baserunning. Being a good teammate. It is a good honor. I’ll try to continue to improve my defense and win a few more at the big league level.”
Ahmed committed just 13 errors, and two veteran scouts believe his range and arm compare to that of Diamondbacks starter Didi Gregorius, who was also obtained in a trade last winter.
Ahmed received a lot of hitting advice when he joined the D-backs, but in the process got away from trusting himself and his routine, and it took those two months to get it back.
“I got to the point where what I was doing wasn’t working. I needed to look at myself and figure out what adjustments I need to make, because I know I am not this bad of a player,” Ahmed said.
Salt River righthander Bo Schultz was leading the Arizona Fall League with 20 strikeouts. The 28-year-old had yielded 14 hits and four walks in 18 innings.
Righthander Jake Barrett was 1-0, 1.80 with two saves first five appearances for Salt River. Barrett, whose fastball reaches the high 90s, appears to be a candidate for the Diamondbacks’ bullpen in 2014. A third-round pick in 2012 out of Arizona State, Barrett posted a 0.36 ERA and 14 saves in 24 appearances for Mobile last season.