Ahmed's adjustments have yielded a power surge

Ahmed's adjustments have yielded a power surge

PHOENIX -- Nick Ahmed hit a two-run homer for the second straight night on Tuesday against the Dodgers, marking the first time the D-backs' rookie shortstop has gone deep in consecutive games.

The 25-year-old has never hit more than six homers in a season in his professional career, which includes four years in the Minor Leagues. Yet Ahmed's go-ahead blast on Tuesday was his sixth this year, and it's not even the All-Star break.

Ahmed said his recent power surge is just a result of his becoming a better overall hitter.

"You hear that a lot from different guys, become a better hitter first and then the power will come," Ahmed said. "I feel like that's a byproduct of what's happening. I'm starting to learn myself as a hitter a little bit more."

Ahmed had hits in eight of his last 11 games entering Wednesday, batting .308 with three homers and eight RBIs during that stretch.

On May 11, Ahmed was batting .130 and had struggled for most of the early season. Since then, he has seen his average climb over 100 points, enough so that D-backs manager Chip Hale has even batted him leadoff against left-handed starting pitchers such as he did on Wednesday.

Hale isn't surprised that Ahmed has started to show some powerful swings, including Tuesday's opposite-field homer to right-center.

"He's a strong kid. He's long-limbed, so when he gets those limbs extended, the ball goes," Hale said. "That's one of those things he can do."

Even during his offensive struggles, Ahmed received consistent at-bats because of the above-average defense he contributes at shortstop. In the meantime, he worked on hitting the ball up the middle and the opposite way during batting practice, while also communicating with teammates and learning ways he could become a better hitter.

"[It's] looking for your pitch more often, getting your best swing off more often, not really chasing, getting into better hitters counts and just know what you're trying to do as a hitter," Ahmed said. "Any time you get to get up and get consistent at-bats, you're going to get better. If you don't, you're doing something wrong, and you're not learning from the process."

Jake Rill is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.