Nick Ahmed named 2013 Minor League Rawlings Gold Glove Award winner at shortstop

USA TODAY Sports

We've already seen the other players received from Atlanta in the Justin Upton deal: Martin Prado, Randall Delgado and Zeke Spruill all contributed to the 2013 Diamondbacks. But this news reminds us there was a fourth player received from the Braves...

I hadn't actually realized Rawlings gives out Gold Gloves to minor-leaguers as well, but it's something which has apparently been going on since 2011, reviving an idea from the sixties, when Rawlings had a Minor League All-Star fielding team, known as the "Silver Glove award." Ahmed is not the first Diamondback to be honored: Cole Gillespie was one of the three outfield recipients in 2011, for his right-field work with Reno.

Ahmed has been getting rave reviews for his glovework since the trade, and the numbers seem to back it up. Among full-season shortstops (min. 80 games), Ahmed ranked first with 133 games played and 441 assists, second with 650 total chances and tied for fourth with a .980 fielding percentage. Earlier this year, Ahmed's manager at Mobile, Andy Green said, "I played a long time. I haven't seen a better defensive shortstop. I've managed and played, been in the big leagues. From what I've seen in two months, I've never seen a guy save runs day after day after day like that."

The problem with Ahmed is much more his offense, where he hit 236/.288/.324, for a .613 OPS over a full season at Double-A. As a yardstick, that's exactly 100 points less than Didi Gregorius hit during his time at the same level - and Didi was a year younger at Double-A. Though stranger things have happened, it would seem that he might well end up as a Cliff Pennington type - someone whose defense could provide decent value at the major-league level, especially at a glove-first position like shortstop, but whose offense will likely be replacement level. However, Ahmed did hit better later, with a more-respectable line of.284/.326/.404 after the end of May.

In his recent survey, John rated Ahmed as #27 on our list of prospects, and we'll get to see him in action shortly, as Nick will be taking part in the Arizona Fall League, which gets under way next week around the Valley.

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