Donaldson during the 2015 season
Toronto Blue Jays – No. 20
December 8, 1985 |
|April 30, 2010 for the Oakland Athletics|
(through August 31, 2015)
|Runs batted in||336|
Career highlights and awards
High school career
Born in Pensacola, Florida, Donaldson attended Pace High School for his freshman year and played varsity baseball, before transferring to Faith Academy in Mobile, Alabama. At Faith, Donaldson competed in football, basketball, and baseball. As a shortstop and pitcher, Donaldson was the Alabama Gatorade Player of the Year as a senior, batting .515 on the season, and led Faith Academy to a state title. Donaldson set four Faith Academy single-season records in baseball, hits (55), triples (6), doubles (21), and RBI (54). In football, Donaldson was a wide receiver, defensive back, and punter, setting a school record with 11 interceptions in one season as a senior, while also being named AISA All-Star Game MVP.
Donaldson later attended Auburn University, where he played college baseball as a catcher and third baseman for the Auburn Tigers baseball team in the Southeastern Conference. During his freshman season in 2005, Donaldson started 39 games at third base, hitting .294 with seven home runs, and also began learning to play catcher. In his sophomore season, Donaldson hit .276 and led the team with ten home runs; he also threw out 15 of 38 base stealers and had seven pickoffs. In the summer of 2006, Donaldson played for the Harwich Mariners of the Cape Cod Baseball League where he was an All-Star and hit .302. In 2007, Donaldson was named a Louisville Slugger Preseason All-American.
Draft and minor leagues
The Chicago Cubs drafted Donaldson as a catcher in the first round (48th overall) of the 2007 Major League Baseball Draft. In his first minor league season, Donaldson played 53 games for the Rookie Arizona League Cubs and Short Season-A Boise Hawks, batting a combined .335 with 9 home runs and 25 RBI. He also walked more than he struck out, with 39 and 38 respectively. In 2008, he played 63 games with the Class-A Peoria Chiefs, where he hit .217 with 6 home runs and 23 RBI. Donaldson was then traded, along with Matt Murton, Eric Patterson and Sean Gallagher, to the Oakland Athletics for Rich Harden and Chad Gaudin. He played 47 games with the Advanced-A Stockton Ports, where he batted .330 and had 9 home runs and 39 RBI.
Donaldson played the entire 2009 season with the Double-A Midland RockHounds, and recorded a batting average of .270 with 9 home runs and 91 RBI. Excluding a short trip to the major leagues in 2010, he spent the season with the Triple-A Sacramento River Cats, and hit .238 with 18 home runs and 67 RBI. Donaldson played the entire 2011 season in Sacramento, improving his average to .261, and hit 17 home runs and 70 RBI.
Donaldson was called up to the majors for the first time on April 30, 2010. He made his debut that night as a pinch hitter, and struck out. On May 1, 2010, Donaldson recorded his first major league hit, a 2-run home run on the first pitch by Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Dana Eveland.
Donaldson officially converted to third base from catching in the beginning of the 2012 season during spring training. He started the regular season as the everyday third baseman for the A's for the first half, but due to struggles he was sent to the Triple-A Sacramento River Cats for a good part of the season. Donaldson was recalled in mid August after everyday third baseman Brandon Inge was placed on the 15-day disabled list with an injured arm. He filled in for Inge and proved to the A's organization that he was capable of holding the everyday job. Donaldson aided the A's into making the postseason, and finished the 2012 season with 9 home runs and 33 RBI with a .241 average.
Donaldson started the 2013 season strong. He hit his first career walk-off home run on April 12 against Detroit Tigers reliever Brayan Villarreal. His shot was also the first walk-off win for the A's in 2013. Donaldson also hit his first career grand slam on June 7 against Chicago White Sox hurler Chris Sale. He played 158 games, and finished the season with 24 home runs, 93 RBI and a .301 average. Donaldson finished fourth in AL MVP voting.
Donaldson was elected to his first All-Star appearance in 2014, and was the starter at third base for the American League. Donaldson hit a 3-run walk-off home run in the 9th inning against the Baltimore Orioles on July 17 to lead the A's to beat the O's 5-4. Donaldson won his first career Fielding Bible Award for his work at third base.
Toronto Blue Jays
On November 28, 2014, Donaldson was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays for Brett Lawrie, Kendall Graveman, Sean Nolin, and Franklin Barreto. In February 2015, he lost his salary arbitration case against the Blue Jays. Donaldson had been seeking $5.75 million, but was awarded the Blue Jays offer of $4.3 million for the 2015 season. Donaldson hit his first two home runs as a Blue Jay in an 8–7 loss to the Atlanta Braves on April 17, 2015. The following day, he hit a tenth inning walk-off home run, giving Toronto a 6–5 victory over the Braves. Donaldson capped off a 10-game homestand with a two-run home run against the Baltimore Orioles. His home run was measured at 481 feet, the longest home run in MLB to that point in the 2015 season. On May 26, Donaldson hit his second walk-off home run of the 2015 season, a three-run shot off Chicago White Sox closer David Robertson.
On June 1, Donaldson was named the American League Player of the Week for the second time in his career. From May 25–31, he batted .440 with 11 runs scored, 6 home runs, and 11 RBI. A campaign was launched in early June to elect Donaldson as a starter to the 2015 Major League Baseball All-Star Game, which was led by Don Cherry and Stephen Amell. At the time the campaign began, Mike Moustakas of the Kansas City Royals led voting for third basemen. It was announced in a voting update on June 29 that Donaldson had surpassed Moustakas, and on July 5, was announced as the starting third baseman for the All-Star game, with a record 14,090,188 votes. He participated in the Home Run Derby on July 13, losing in the semi-finals to eventual winner Todd Frazier.
In a game against the Minnesota Twins on August 5, Donaldson hit his 29th home run of the season, tying the career-high he set in the previous season. He would break his personal record on August 7, by hitting his 30th of the season in a 2–1 win over the New York Yankees. In a game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on August 22, Donaldson became the first player to record 100 RBI's in 2015.
Donaldson was raised by his mother, Lisa French, with his father Levon Donaldson having been imprisoned for most of his childhood. His father, a construction worker, was sentenced in 1992 on charges of sexual battery, false imprisonment, and aggravated battery, and released from prison in 2007.
His father watched him play baseball in person for the first time on September 13, 2013, against the Texas Rangers in Arlington, Texas. He had two hits in three at bats, walking twice, with a homer, a double and three runs batted in, in a 9-8 Athletics victory.
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- Suzuki on 15-day DL with intercostal strain
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- "Thursday's home run salute: Donaldson's 481-footer, Stanton's laser". foxsports.com. April 24, 2015. Retrieved April 24, 2015.
- "Donaldson’s walk-off HR gives Blue Jays wild win". Sportsnet. May 26, 2015. Retrieved May 27, 2015.
- Nowak, Joey (June 1, 2015). "Hot-hitting Donaldson is AL Player of Week". MLB.com. Retrieved June 1, 2015.
- Davidi, Shi (June 14, 2015). "Blue Jays’ Donaldson grateful for Cherry’s support". Sportsnet. Retrieved July 5, 2015.
- Kennedy, John R. (June 17, 2015). "Actor Stephen Amell campaigns to get Josh Donaldson in MLB All-Star Game". globalnews.ca. Retrieved July 5, 2015.
- Spurrier, Guy (June 29, 2015). "Toronto Blue Jays’ Josh Donaldson leading MLB all-star vote thanks to strong social media campaigns". news.nationalpost.com. Retrieved July 5, 2015.
- Rutsey, Mike (July 5, 2015). "Blue Jays' Josh Donaldson voted in to start MLB all-star game". torontosun.com. Retrieved July 5, 2015.
- Chisholm, Gregor (July 5, 2015). "Donaldson receives most ASG votes in history". MLB.com. Retrieved July 5, 2015.
- Langosch, Jennifer (July 13, 2015). "Donaldson tees off, makes Derby semis". MLB.com. Retrieved July 14, 2015.
- McGaughney, Paul (August 5, 2015). "Jose Bautista crushes grand slam to put Jays in front". cbc.ca. Retrieved August 6, 2015.
- Slusser, Susan (May 23, 2013). "A's Donaldson takes nothing for granted". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved September 14, 2013.
- Gabe Lacques, USA TODAY Sports (March 27, 2014). "Josh Donaldson finds a winning chip on his shoulder". USA TODAY.
- "Oakland A's Josh Donaldson beat all the odds to become star third baseman - ESPN The Magazine". ESPN.com.
- Slusser, Susan (September 14, 2013). "A's hold off Rangers in 9-8 marathon". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved September 16, 2013.
- Brown, Tim (September 15, 2013). "A's Josh Donaldson shows father what he missed". Yahoo Sports. Retrieved September 16, 2013.
- Career statistics and player information from MLB, or ESPN, or Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube, or Baseball-Reference (Minors)
- Auburn Tigers bio