Josh Donaldson

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Josh Donaldson
Josh Donaldson on September 30, 2015.jpg
Donaldson with the Toronto Blue Jays in 2015
Toronto Blue Jays – No. 20
Third baseman
Born: (1985-12-08) December 8, 1985 (age 30)
Pensacola, Florida
Bats: Right Throws: Right
MLB debut
April 30, 2010, for the Oakland Athletics
MLB statistics
(through 2015 season)
Batting average .276
Hits 584
Home runs 104
Runs batted in 351
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Joshua Adam Donaldson (born December 8, 1985) is an American professional baseball third baseman for the Toronto Blue Jays of Major League Baseball (MLB). He was initially drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the 2007 MLB Draft after playing for Auburn University during his time in college. Donaldson has also played for the Oakland Athletics, making his debut for the team in 2010, progressing with the team and eventually becoming an All-Star in the 2014 MLB season.

After being traded to the Toronto Blue Jays, Donaldson was voted the American League Most Valuable Player for the 2015 MLB season, and was named as a starter to the 2015 MLB All-Star Game, earning the most fan votes obtained by a player in the process. Additionally, Donaldson also won the Silver Slugger Award and led the league in RBIs (runs batted in) and runs scored in the American League.

Amateur career[edit]

High school[edit]

Born in Pensacola, Florida, Donaldson attended Pace High School in Pace, Florida for his sophomore year and played varsity baseball, before moving and being transferred by his mother, Lisa, to Faith Academy in Mobile, Alabama. Josh was being consistently taunted by his teammates, and Lisa also wanted Josh to have his friend, P.J. Walters, to be with him at the Academy.[1] 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 RBIs (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.[2]

College[edit]

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.[3]

Professional career[edit]

Early career[edit]

The Chicago Cubs drafted Donaldson as a catcher in the first round (48th overall) of the 2007 MLB Draft.[4] 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 nine home runs and 25 RBIs. He also walked more than he struck out, with 39 and 38 respectively.[4] In 2008, he played 63 games with the Class-A Peoria Chiefs, where he hit .217 with six home runs and 23 RBIs.[4] Donaldson was then traded, along with Matt Murton, Eric Patterson and Sean Gallagher, to the Oakland Athletics for Rich Harden and Chad Gaudin.[5] He played 47 games with the Advanced-A Stockton Ports, where he batted .330 and had nine home runs and 39 RBIs.[4] Donaldson then played the entire 2009 season with the Double-A Midland RockHounds, and recorded a batting average of .270 with nine home runs and 91 RBIs.[4]

Oakland Athletics[edit]

Donaldson was called up to the majors for the first time on April 30, 2010, filling in for the injured Kurt Suzuki.[6] He made his debut that night as a pinch hitter, and struck out. The next day, he recorded his first major league hit, a two-run home run on the first pitch by Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Dana Eveland.[7] In 14 appearances during the 2010 season, Donaldson made 34 plate appearances and recorded five hits. [8] After returning to the minor leagues, he spent the season with the Triple-A Sacramento River Cats and hit .238 with 18 home runs and 67 RBIs for the season.[4] Donaldson played the entire 2011 season in Sacramento, improving his average to .261, and hit 17 home runs and 70 RBIs.[4]

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 much of the season. The A's recalled him in mid August after everyday third baseman Brandon Inge was placed on the 15-day disabled list with an injured arm.[9] Donaldson helped the A's into making the postseason, and finished the 2012 season with nine home runs, 33 RBIs and a .241 average.[8]

Donaldson with the Oakland Athletics in 2013

Against Detroit Tigers reliever Brayan Villarreal, Donaldson hit his first career walk-off home run on April 12, 2013. It was the A's first walk-off win in 2013. He hit his first career grand slam on June 7 against Chicago White Sox starter Chris Sale.[10] Major League Baseball named Donaldson the American League Player of the Month for September after batting .337 with 20 runs scored, eight doubles, five home runs and 16 RBIs in 25 games.[11] He played 158 games and finished the season with 24 home runs, 93 RBIs and a .301 average and placed fourth in AL MVP voting.[10]

Donaldson was elected to his first All-Star appearance in 2014 as the starter at third base for the American League.[12] Donaldson hit a three-run walk-off home run in the ninth inning against the Baltimore Orioles on July 17 to lead the A's to a 5–4 victory. Donaldson won his first career Fielding Bible Award for his work at third base.[13] During the 2014 season, Donaldson hit 98 RBIs, 29 home runs, and 93 runs scored, beating out his career highs with Oakland. However, Donaldson's batting average went down to .255. [8] Donaldson would end up finishing 8th in the AL MVP voting. [14]

Toronto Blue Jays[edit]

On November 28, 2014, the Athletics traded Donaldson to the Toronto Blue Jays for Brett Lawrie, Kendall Graveman, Sean Nolin, and Franklin Barreto.[15] The following February, he lost his salary arbitration case against the Blue Jays after seeking $5.75 million. Instead, he was awarded the Blue Jays' offer of $4.3 million for the 2015 season.[16]

Donaldson fielding in April 2015

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, six home runs, and 11 RBIs.[17] A campaign was launched in early June to elect Donaldson as a starter to the 2015 MLB All-Star Game, which was led by Don Cherry and Stephen Amell.[18][19] 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,[20] and on July 5, was announced as the starting third baseman for the All-Star game, with a record 14,090,188 votes.[21][22] He participated in the Home Run Derby on July 13, losing in the semi-finals to eventual winner Todd Frazier.[23]

From August 3–9, he batted .385 (10 hits in 26 at bats) with two doubles, five home runs, eight RBIs and nine runs scored as the Blue Jays won eight games in a row. This performance led to his second AL Player of the Week Award of the season.[24]

By the end of August, observers began referring to Donaldson's season as one of the best in Blue Jays' history.[25] Several members of the media wrote articles naming him as the American League Most Valuable Player Award frontrunner over Mike Trout, and fans attending both home and away games began chanting "M-V-P! M-V-P!" when he would bat.[26][27][28] On September 7, Donaldson hit his 100th career home run. He hit his 40th home run of the season on September 25, and in doing joined Shawn Green and Carlos Delgado as the only players in franchise history to have 40 doubles and 40 home runs in the same season.[29] Donaldson finished the 2015 regular season with a .297 batting average, 122 runs scored, 41 doubles, 41 home runs, and 123 RBIs.[30] According to Baseball-Reference.com, his 8.8 Wins Above Replacement (WAR) in 2015 ranked as the highest single-season total in club history, surpassing José Bautista's previous record of 8.1 in 2011.[31]

Sporting News announced on October 29, 2015, that Donaldson had won their MLB Player of the Year Award.[32] Other awards included the American League Hank Aaron Award,[33] the American League third baseman's Silver Slugger Award,[34] and Players Choice Awards for both Major League Player of the Year and American League Outstanding Player.[35] On November 19, 2015, Donaldson was named the 2015 American League Most Valuable Player (AL MVP),[36] finishing ahead of Mike Trout and Lorenzo Cain. Donaldson became just the second Blue Jay to win the AL MVP award, joining George Bell, who won in 1987. On December 5, 2015, Donaldson was revealed as the cover athlete for MLB The Show 16.[37]

In February 2016, Donaldson and the Blue Jays appeared to be heading to salary arbitration for the second consecutive year. Donaldson had asked for $11.8 million for the 2016 season, while the Blue Jays had countered at $11.35 million. On February 10, Donaldson signed a two-year, $28.65 million extension that will pay him $11.65 million in 2016, and $17 million in 2017.[38]

Awards[edit]

Personal life[edit]

Donaldson was raised by his mother, Lisa French, with his father, Levon Donaldson, having been imprisoned for most of his childhood.[40] 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.[41][42]

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.[43][44]

Aside from playing baseball, Donaldson has also been a lifelong avid golfer. When he was 18 months old, Donaldson appeared on a local TV station showing off a "picture perfect" golf swing.[45] He appeared on Golf Channel during the 2014 season and hit a ball an estimated 309 yards in a simulator. He found out he was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays while watching the Golf Channel, as well as playing Mortal Kombat.[46] Donaldson is currently in a relationship with Jillian Rose.[47]

Donaldson is a fan of the History channel series Vikings, and in January 2016, it was announced that he would have a cameo appearance in the fourth season of the show.[48]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Jane Lee (May 10, 2013). "As single mother, Donaldson's mom 'led by example'". MLB.com. Retrieved January 13, 2016. 
  2. ^ Lacques, Gabe (March 27, 2014). "Josh Donaldson finds a winning chip on his shoulder". usatoday.com. Retrieved August 24, 2015. 
  3. ^ "Josh Donaldson Bio". auburntigers.com. Retrieved August 24, 2015. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g "Josh Donaldson Minor League Statistics & History". Baseball-Reference. Retrieved November 28, 2014. 
  5. ^ "Cubs acquire right-handed pitchers Rich Harden and Chad Gaudin from Oakland". Chicago Cubs. Retrieved January 16, 2016. 
  6. ^ "Josh Donaldson becomes 70th Hawk in Major Leagues". milb.com. May 2, 2010. Retrieved January 16, 2016. 
  7. ^ "Josh Donaldson hits first major league home run". blog.al.com. May 1, 2010. Retrieved November 29, 2014. 
  8. ^ a b c "Josh Donaldson". Baseball-reference.com. Retrieved January 16, 2016. 
  9. ^ "Athletics Place Brandon Inge on DL; Recall Josh Donaldson". mlbdailydish.com. August 14, 2012. Retrieved December 3, 2015. 
  10. ^ a b "Josh Donaldson finishes fourth in AL MVP race". Oakland Athletics : The Drumbeat. Retrieved January 16, 2016. 
  11. ^ a b Slusser, Susan (September 30, 2013). "Donaldson is AL Player of Month; game times; Game 1 virtually sold out". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved November 1, 2015. 
  12. ^ a b "Oakland A's place six on All-Star team". mercurynews.com. Retrieved January 16, 2016. 
  13. ^ Alex Hall (November 3, 2014). "Athletics' third baseman Josh Donaldson wins Fielding Bible Award". athleticsnation.com. Retrieved January 16, 2016. 
  14. ^ "2014 AL MVP". BBWAA.com. Retrieved January 13, 2016. 
  15. ^ Chisholm, Gregor (November 28, 2014). "Donaldson reeled in from A's for Lawrie, prospects". MLB.com. Retrieved November 28, 2014. 
  16. ^ Nicholson-Smith, Ben (February 13, 2015). "Blue Jays win arbitration hearing vs. Donaldson". Sportsnet. Retrieved February 14, 2015. 
  17. ^ a b Nowak, Joey (June 1, 2015). "Hot-hitting Donaldson is AL Player of Week". MLB.com. Retrieved June 1, 2015. 
  18. ^ Davidi, Shi (June 14, 2015). "Blue Jays’ Donaldson grateful for Cherry’s support". Sportsnet. Retrieved July 5, 2015. 
  19. ^ 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. 
  20. ^ 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. 
  21. ^ a b Rutsey, Mike (July 5, 2015). "Blue Jays' Josh Donaldson voted in to start MLB all-star game". torontosun.com. Retrieved July 5, 2015. 
  22. ^ Chisholm, Gregor (July 5, 2015). "Donaldson receives most ASG votes in history". MLB.com. Retrieved July 5, 2015. 
  23. ^ a b Langosch, Jennifer (July 13, 2015). "Donaldson tees off, makes Derby semis". MLB.com. Retrieved July 14, 2015. 
  24. ^ a b "Blue Jays’ Josh Donaldson, David Price named AL players of the week". Toronto Star. August 10, 2015. Retrieved November 1, 2015. 
  25. ^ Robichaud, Andrew (September 3, 2015). "Donaldson having one of the greatest seasons in Blue Jays’ history". tsn.ca. Retrieved September 3, 2015. 
  26. ^ Whyno, Stephen (September 3, 2015). "Josh Donaldson appreciates MVP chants from Blue Jays fans". thestar.com. Retrieved September 3, 2015. 
  27. ^ Castrovince, Anthony. "Why Josh Donaldson should win AL MVP". MLB.com. Retrieved September 3, 2015. 
  28. ^ "Experts: Predicting the season-ending awards". espn.go.com. September 2, 2015. Retrieved September 3, 2015. 
  29. ^ Ross, Jamie (September 25, 2015). "Donaldson reaches 40 homers for first time". MLB.com. Retrieved September 25, 2015. 
  30. ^ "Josh Donaldson Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference. Retrieved October 5, 2015. 
  31. ^ "Toronto Blue Jays top 10 batting leaders". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved January 13, 2016. 
  32. ^ a b Specter, Jesse (October 29, 2015). "Blue Jays' Josh Donaldson beats Bryce Harper for Sporting News MLB Player of the Year". Sporting News. Retrieved October 30, 2015. 
  33. ^ a b Hagen, Paul (October 31, 2015). "Harper, Donaldson win Hank Aaron Award". MLB.com. Retrieved October 31, 2015. 
  34. ^ a b "Blue Jays’ Josh Donaldson wins 2015 Silver Slugger Award". Sportsnet. November 12, 2015. Retrieved November 12, 2015. 
  35. ^ a b c CBC Sports (November 9, 2015). "Jays' Josh Donaldson wins 2 Players Choice Awards: Toronto 3rd baseman chosen Player of the Year, AL Outstanding Player". CBC Sports. Retrieved November 9, 2015. 
  36. ^ a b Chisholm, Gregor (November 19, 2015). "Donaldson is runaway winner for BBWAA AL MVP". MLB.com. Retrieved November 20, 2015. 
  37. ^ Sanchez, Miranda (December 5, 2015). "PSX 2015: MLB The Show 16 announced". IGN. Retrieved December 5, 2015. 
  38. ^ Chisholm, Gregor (February 10, 2016). "Donaldson, Blue Jays finalize 2-year deal". MLB.com. Retrieved February 10, 2016. 
  39. ^ "The 2014 Awards". The Fielding Bible. Archived from the original on October 31, 2014. 
  40. ^ Slusser, Susan (May 23, 2013). "A's Donaldson takes nothing for granted". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved September 14, 2013. 
  41. ^ Gabe Lacques, USA TODAY Sports (March 27, 2014). "Josh Donaldson finds a winning chip on his shoulder". USA TODAY. Retrieved January 16, 2016. 
  42. ^ "Oakland A's Josh Donaldson beat all the odds to become star third baseman – ESPN The Magazine". ESPN.com. Retrieved January 16, 2016. 
  43. ^ Slusser, Susan (September 14, 2013). "A's hold off Rangers in 9–8 marathon". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved September 16, 2013. 
  44. ^ Brown, Tim (September 15, 2013). "A's Josh Donaldson shows father what he missed". Yahoo Sports. Retrieved September 16, 2013. 
  45. ^ Brendan Kennedy (November 29, 2014). "New Jay Josh Donaldson digs Bautista, ‘sexy’ uniforms". thestar.com. Retrieved January 13, 2016. 
  46. ^ "Watch: Josh Donaldson hits a ball 309 yards". Sportsnet.ca. December 1, 2014. Retrieved January 13, 2016. 
  47. ^ Newman, Mark. "Nine things to know about: Josh Donaldson". MLB.com. Retrieved February 6, 2016. 
  48. ^ "Blue Jays MVP Josh Donaldson to cameo on ‘Vikings’". Sportsnet. January 21, 2016. Retrieved January 21, 2016. 

External links[edit]