Another Ahmed Making Strides For Bourne Braves
By: Taylor C. Snow
Bourne Braves’ fans may notice a familiar name this season as they inspect the stat sheet handed out nightly at the ballpark.
Does the name Ahmed ring a bell?
Currently, one of the Braves’ top players, Mike Ahmed, a Massachusetts native and the brother of Nick Ahmed who played for Bourne in 2010 and was the 85th overall pick in the 2011 Major League baseball draft, is following a path similar to Nick’s with the goal of someday reaching the big stage.
Mike, a resident of East Longmeadow, was originally signed as a temp for the Braves out of Holy Cross. The players are called temps for a reason. They are essentially taking up a roster spot temporarily until all of the players with season-long contracts arrive.
Each year there are a handful of temp players in the league who impress coaches beyond their expectations and end up signing a full-time contract. Mike was one of those talented few.
In the first game of the season, Mike led off for the Braves and was one of the few shining spots in the 8-5 loss to the Harwich Mariners. He went 2-for-5, including a three-run homer in the ninth.
The next day was even more spectacular. Mike went 4-for-4, amassing more than half of Bourne’s seven hits, in the 3-2 victory over the Hyannis Harbor Hawks.
By game time the following day against Cotuit, Mike found himself signing a full-season contract as he gave the Braves’ management enough assurance through two games to bring him on board for the rest of the season.
“I’ve been playing with confidence and I knew that if I played hard, it would pay off,” said Mike. “I know I can play with anybody here.”
By the end of the first week, Mike was the top player on the Cape, winning the first Player of the Week award as he hit up a storm with a .467 batting average while racking up one home run and four RBI.
In fact, Mike’s home-run total by that time had already surpassed Nick’s goose-egg total in his 2010 round-tripper column.
Despite not being a power threat, Nick played an important role in the Braves’ lineup two years ago. Although he only hit .212, he led the team in games played (43), at bats (146) and runs scored (24), and he was second on the squad with 17 stolen bases.
Here on the Cape, Nick, a former Connecticut Husky, not only got to compete with some of the best players in the country but he also got the opportunity to be scouted day in and day out, which most likely is what sparked the interest in another Braves’ team—the Braves of Atlanta who drafted him in the second round last year.
“It was awesome,” Mike said of his brother’s draft success. “He was at a super regional [tournament] at Clemson when he got the news, and he was really excited. I don’t think he was expecting it.”
While Nick’s speed is his strength, Mike’s swing seems to be his. The infielder turned left fielder for Bourne now leads the team with three home runs, just as he led Holy Cross this past season when he hit seven of the team’s 24 dingers.
There are certain aspects of Mike’s game that are completely different from Nick’s but according to the Braves’ assistant coach, Ted Regan, the work ethic runs in the family.
“It’s unfair to compare the two. Mike is Mike and Nick is Nick,” said Regan who is in his third year on the Bourne coaching staff, “but the similarities come in their work habits. Their work ethic is terrific.”
Mike, who doesn’t like to set statistical goals for himself, just approaches the game by working hard every day, trying to stay consistent and work on his mental game.
“Over the past year, my mental approach has completely changed and my confidence has completely risen,” said Mike. And his approach appears to be paying off, as nearly every statistical category rose for him as a member of the Crusaders from 2011 to 2012.
As of now, Mike is currently going through a slump. He is just 1-for-18 in his last five games and his average, which was in the high .300s just a week ago, has dropped considerably to .259.
But Mike, who spent eight summers of his childhood vacationing and watching Cape League games down in Orleans, has been aiming to play in this league for a long time and with his approach to the game, it is difficult to imagine that this slump will last much longer.
“[The Cape Cod Baseball League] is a great place for exposure,” said Mike. “Every night there’s a bunch of scouts watching. You just have to work hard and show them that you love the game and want to advance to the next level.”
Ahmed to that, Mike.
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