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12/8/1985 (31 y, 2 m, 11 d)
2007 June Amateur Draft - Round: 1s, Pick: 18, Overall: 48, Team: Chicago Cubs
$28.6M / 2 Years (2016 - 2017)
Donaldson (calf) announced on Sunday that he expects to miss two or three weeks of spring training due to his recent calf strain, John Lott of The Athletic reports. (2/19/2017)
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Donaldson was sent down in the middle of June for "batting" .153/.160/.235 — and those numbers don't tell exactly how poorly Donaldson hit. When he came back up in August he (not to mention his batting average on balls in play) came back to stay. After being called up, Donaldson went on a .290/.356/.489 tear and clubbed eight dingers. With no pronounced change in his swing, stance, or grip it is hard to pin down exactly what went wrong in the beginning and right in the end. His BABIP fluctuated harshly and obviously had a strong effect on his overall numbers. If nothing else, Donaldson seems locked in to begin the season as the A's starting third basemen. I wouldn't predict him to have a breakout season teammate Josh Reddick, but I would take a late round pick on him to round out my bench. Now that Jed Lowrie is in town, there's some risk that Donaldson loses playing time with more struggles, but that risk was already there, and now there's the possibility of some work at first base against left-handers to soften the blow of the threat of any lost time. (
The Quick Opinion:
It may have taken getting called up, struggling, and getting sent down, but Josh Donaldson surged after his second call up from the minors. He not only came up with big hits, but he had them in big moments. Despite only 294 plate appearances, Donaldson had the fourth-highest Clutch score on a team that won its division on the final day of the season.
From afterthought to a fourth-place MVP finish, Josh Donaldson caught everyone off-guard last season. The former catcher-turned-third-baseman set career highs in every major offensive category en route to a .301/.384/.499 line with 24 home runs and 93 RBIs. His double-digit minor league walk rate finally translated to the majors and a .333 batting average on balls in play never hurt anyone. Expect most of the gains Donaldson showed in the walk and power rates to stick -- they fall right in line with most of his minor league work -- but a regression on his balls in play should be expected. That being said, if Donaldson is your opening day third baseman, you shouldn't force a trade for Evan Longoria or Ryan Zimmerman. Be content with Donaldson's 20+ home runs and weighted offense that should be 25-30% better than league average this season. Don't pay for his excellent 2013 season; pay for what should be a solid 2014 season. (David Wiers)
The Quick Opinion:
Although he probably won't repeat his 2013 season, Donaldson is still a fine option at third base with his power and on-base skills.
The Oakland Athletics' trade of Josh Donaldson is something that could push the third baseman to the next tier of fantasy cornerstone players. As is the case with so many players the A's have traded, the move in ballparks should bring about a boon to Donaldson's offensive stats. His new home in Toronto helps to play up his already significant right-handed power. The Rogers Centre was the fourth-best major league park for righty home runs and Oakland was ninth-worst. After slugging 24 home runs in 2013 and 29 last year, it would be a serious disappointment if he didn't clear the 30 home run plateau this season. He may very well slot in behind Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion, two players who get on base regularly and should provide Donaldson plenty of RBI opportunities. A minor gripe about his offensive game may be that he is "only " 12% better than league average against right-handed pitchers. Donaldson makes up for that by absolutely tattooing southpaws at a clip 65% above average. Add in his double digit walk rate and sub-20% strikeout rate and Donaldson nearly a complete hitter. As a cherry on top, his eight stolen bases last year represented a single season high and he wasn't caught at all. While it is doubtful to ever see Donaldson grab 20 bags, if he can simply repeat another handful of successful bags, his value goes even higher. (David Wiers)
The Quick Opinion:
Donaldson can be a fixture on any fantasy team given his power and counting numbers. Factor in the improvement in his home park and you have yourself an excellent fantasy baseball player, and on the infield to boot.
It didn't take hindsight to think that the Donaldson trade could be one that Billy Beane regretted. But even those who were most pessimistic probably didn't see Donaldson winning the MVP at the same time that Brett Lawrie had his worst season yet (.706 OPS). At least the A's got 115.7 innings of 4.05 ERA from Kendall Graveman! We have always known how important team context can be, and we analyze every park and lineup move for this very reason, but Donaldson showed just how incredibly important it can be for a player. He moved from cavernous Oakland to hitter-fueling Toronto and joined a lineup that scored a full run more per game than the A's (4.5 to 5.5). With nearly identical skills, Donaldson added 12 homers, 29 runs, 25 RBI, and 42 points of batting average in just 16 more plate appearances. We haven't seen a team score five-plus runs per game in back-to-back seasons since both the Yankees and Red Sox did it in 2010 and 2011. Of course part of that was the sharp decline in offense league wide. The point is that a big part of Donaldson's excellence came from topping 120 runs scored and driven in and betting on a repeat is dangerous, even as the Toronto lineup remains incredibly imposing. That said, there's plenty of wiggle room for Donaldson. He can drop 20 of each and still be a premium asset. Even a conservative projection system like Steamer has him for 30 HR, 90+ R/RBI, and a .274 AVG. That wouldn't be first-round caliber, but it speaks to a remarkably high floor. (
The Quick Opinion:
I was fortunate enough to get the Bryce Harper and Donaldson profiles to write up, but my editors refused to accept "They're good, draft them" as the complete write up. That said, Donaldson is good and you should draft him. He was also a great example of how much team context can mean to a player as his foundational skills didn't really change in his MVP season.
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Updated: Sunday, February 19, 2017 3:33 AM ET
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