There's a lot of talk surrounding Atlanta Braves shortstop Andrelton Simmons and his potential.
But the Braves have another shortstop turning heads, which could provide the team with multiple options when it comes to finding a trade partner.
While the Braves are reluctant to part with Simmons, Nick Ahmed could be a player that the Braves can use to package in a trade.
Selected by Atlanta in the second round of the 2011 draft out of Connecticut, Ahmed has done nothing but impress in professional baseball.
In 59 games with the Danville Braves in 2011 (after getting drafted), Ahmed batted .262/.346/.379 with four home runs, 24 RBI, 46 runs scored and 18 stolen bases.
In his first full season in professional baseball with High-A Lynchburg, Ahmed batted .269/.337/.391 with six home runs, 49 RBI, 84 runs scored and 40 stolen bases.
Ahmed then joined the Phoenix Desert Dogs for the five-week Arizona Fall League. There, he batted .288/.361/.452 with one home run, 10 RBI and 13 runs scored in 73 at-bats.
He's shown success wherever he's gone.
Although he'll likely start 2013 at Double-A Mississippi, one can't help but wonder if he'll be involved in a trade package. And Ahmed knows that, according to a blog posted by Atlanta Journal-Constitution writer David O'Brien:
"Obviously that’s the goal, to get up [to the majors] as soon as possible,” he said. “But at the same time, it’s a little bit out of your hands. I know that if I continue to improve and continue to play well, that will kind of put pressure on them to make me move up, and hopefully there’s an opportunity to help them succeed at the big-league level, show what I can do.
“Whether it’s play shortstop, whether it’s play second base—I’m not sure what their plans are for me. But hopefully I’ll get up there soon, whether it’s with the Braves or someone else.”
With pitching depth up the wazoo, the depth at shortstop and outfield puts the Braves in position to provide good prospects at a few positions to satisfy any team in a trade.
Ahmed gives the Braves that ability.
Think the Arizona Diamondbacks would be interested in adding Ahmed to a package?
The Braves could include one or two of the young guns at pitcher and possibly an outfielder in exchange for Justin Upton.
Having Ahmed gives the Braves options. And whether he's to be a second baseman or a trade chip, having him in the organization benefits the Braves.