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Can Nick Ahmed Stage an Ender Inciarte-Type Turnaround?

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May 10, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks shortstop Nick Ahmed against the San Diego Padres at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Saying that Nick Ahmed has been an offensive liability for the Arizona Diamondbacks is a bit of an understatement.  The 25-year old shortstop “sports” a .150 batting average and a .244 on-base percentage in 91 plate appearances in 2015. In 166 plate appearances between last and this year, Ahmed’s line is .173/.239. However, maybe he can look to one of his current teammates who also got off to a rocky beginning at the dish to start his Major League career. This guy is now hitting over .300, roughly 150 points higher tan this time last year.

Maybe Nick Ahmed can become another Ender Inciarte.

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Through 124 plate appearances in 2014, Inciarte was hitting .224 with an on-base percentage of .256. These are numbers that are better than Ahmed’s and the 24-year old outfielder finished impressively last year with a .278/.318 line. Although the knock on Ahmed is that he is not an offensive player, his Minor League numbers compare favorably with Inciarte’s:

Ahmed: .269 BA and .333 OBP in four Minor League seasons

Inciarte: .284 BA and .344 OBP in seven Minor League seasons

The D’backs seem willing to give Ahmed a long leash because of the outstanding defense he brings to his position.  The team must also believe that the slow start this year is just an aberration. Maybe his average never gets above .220 this year. The Snakes can live with that because the lineup, starting with Paul Goldschmidt and continuing with guys like A.J. Pollock and Mark Trumbo, can generate plenty of offense. Play great defense and deliver the occasional shot in the gap. That can be Ahmed’s calling card in 2015.

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