Nick Ahmed was drafted by the Braves in the second round of the 2011 draft out of the University of Connecticut after playing alongside George Springer and Matt Barnes. After his first season of minor league ball, evaluators started recognizing his excellent shortstop defense, but Nick had the misfortune of being in an organization that employed Andrelton Simmons at the big league level.
In January 2013, the Braves traded Ahmed to the Diamondbacks as part of the seven-player Justin Upton deal. The D’Backs used Didi Gregorius at shortstop primarily in 2013 and ’14, but then traded him in another big three-team deal in December of 2014. Finally, the path was clear for the defensively-gifted Ahmed to compete for the club’s starting shortstop job.
Ahmed took hold of the Diamondbacks’ shortstop position in 2015, but endured hip surgery in 2016 and then suffered a fracture in his hand and wrist separately in 2017.
Known for his defense and leadership, Ahmed once again took hold of Arizona’s starting shortstop job in 2018, and he hasn’t let go since. Ahmed broke out with 3.7 WAR in 2018, winning the Gold Glove award. He nearly replicated the performance in ’19, picking up another Gold Glove while hitting a career-high 19 home runs.
In February 2020, Ahmed signed a four-year extension with the Diamondbacks, which runs through the upcoming season.
In each individual season from 2018 to 2021, Nick led the Diamondbacks in innings at the shortstop position. That string was broken in 2022, as a nagging shoulder injury led to June surgery. Last Friday, Nick Piecoro of The Arizona Republic reported that Ahmed is at Salt River Fields, getting ready for the start of spring training. Ahmed will celebrate his 33rd birthday in March. According to Piecoro, “He does not expect to be limited when spring training begins.”
Ahmed’s defense remained the best in the game at shortstop in his most recent healthy season. In the 2021 season, Ahmed ranked fifth among shortstops in the Statcast Outs Above Average metric. And while defense is his calling card, Nick has 68 career home runs, including bombs off Max Scherzer, Jon Lester, and Stephen Strasburg.
Nick recently launched a new platform called 7 Pillar Health and Performance. He explains, “Within this new platform I will be sharing everything I’ve learned about optimal health and peak performance on and off the field.” You can check that out here, and follow him on Instagram and Twitter @NickAhmed13.
Nick took questions from MLBTR readers for over an hour today, talking about his faith, handling trade rumors, training to play defense, the elimination of the shift, and much more. Read the transcript here!
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If Nick Ahmed has a platform called “7 Pillar Health and Performance”, then when is Kevin Pillar making “11 Ahmed Health and Performance”?
Cool to see an active player in here!
This was really cool, Tim D. Thanks for having Nick on to answer our questions! One of the many great features of MLBTR.
It’s great to see the more personal side (values, thought processes, training habits) of guys currently playing. I was a fan of his play already, but I’m certainly a fan of the person now too.
We definitely love Ahmed out here as well; better person than he is a fielder. I hope that he’s able to settle in early on and has a good walk year. Nothing but good vibes for him.
I can see why. I’ll be rooting for him for sure. Definitely a good role model and I’ll be using him as an example for my young kid. It’s great to see players with his perspective.
Good chat…thanks! This one had a different flavor as a still active player of some note, but I get just as much from some of the other chats as well with players that have been out for a while. Different takes…experiences…things to share. Appreciate all of it.
Most questions answered in a MLBTR chat, ever. Nice!
I love these player chats. Thank you so much for doing them, mlbtr!
The player chats, whether with a active player or a guy who had a cup of coffee in The Show offer up very interesting takes on what it takes to reach that level. Keep them coming please.
We get it, you like god
If that’s the belief that helps him keep a positive outlook, no reason to knock what helps the man live his life (and obviously a fulfilling one at that).
He was asked specifically about it in many instances, of course he’d address it so many times; plus, it’s obviously a big part of his life/routine (which professional athletes are generally about).
I’d recommend you worry less about the things beyond your control; it makes it easier to be grateful for what you do have (ironically, that’s all Nick was conveying a lot of the time lol).
Not a religious person myself but I’ve got no issues with a person who is so long as it motivates them to positive ends (which is clearly the case for Nick Ahmed).
He was just answering questions as provided by the chat or providing that context of a religious background where relevant…wasn’t like he turned every question into a sermon.
I know; he was even specifically asked how he interacts with his teammates that don’t share his faith, and replied that he just loves them and is there when they need him. So terrible.
Good to see where and Who his focus is on. He can never go wrong that way.
I’ll be rooting for him.
Praise the Lord and pass the snakes.