5 Reasons Why Oakland Athletics’ Josh Donaldson Should Be An All-Star In 2013
Josh Donaldson: 5 Reasons Why The Oakland Athletics Third Baseman Should Be An All-Star
Josh Donaldson, the third baseman of the Oakland Athletics, didn't catch the ball that he can be seen stretching for in the photo above. But that's not really the point. The fact that Donaldson was even anywhere close to that ball in the seventh inning of the Athletics' 4-3 win over the Chicago White Sox back on June 1, is all you really need to know about the 27-year-old.
Donaldson has played in 81 of the team's 82 games, has been the surprise offensive MVP on a very deep Oakland team, and should be an All-Star at Citi Field this summer.
The Pensacola, Florida native originally joined the Athletics in the summer of 2008 as an intriguing piece in the Rich Harden-deal. The trade, which was completed on July 8, 2008, sent Harden and Chad Gaudin to the Chicago Cubs, and in return the Athletics received Eric Patterson, Matt Murton, Sean Gallagher and Donaldson.
Of the six players involved in the swap, only Gaudin and Donaldson remain in the big leagues. Harden actually last appeared for the Athletics as he made 15 starts for the club in 2011. Gaudin has been quite good for the San Francisco Giants in 2013 with a 2.60 ERA, but he's currently shelved with a bruised elbow.
Patterson's last MLB action was in 2011 with the San Diego Padres, where he hit .180 in 104 at bats. Murton hasn't appeared in an MLB game since 2009, but the red-haired outfielder has been playing for the Hanshin Tigers in Japan's Central League since 2010. The Tigers play in the very cool Koshien Stadium in Nishinomiya.
Gallagher last popped up in an MLB game for the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2010. He finished the year with a 6.03 ERA, but he's currently sporting a 2.01 ERA for the Double-A affiliate of the Colorado Rockies.
And then there's Donaldson. His first MLB hit was a jack off Dana Eveland (a former Athletic) back on May 1 2010. So far in 2013, Donaldson is hitting .316 at the spacious O.co Coliseum, has a .909 OPS and has picked up 22 doubles.
But perhaps ever more impressive than his production at the plate is his skill with the glove. The former catcher has demonstrated ridiculous athleticism at the hot corner, and with all due respect to Miguel Cabrera, Evan Longoria, Manny Machado and Adrian Beltre, Jim Leyland absolutely needs to find a spot for Donaldson at Citi Field this July.
Here we see Donaldson celebrating with third base coach Mike Gallego as he rounds the bases on one of his 13 home runs. He's also added 52 RBIs, which is good for second-best among AL third basemen.
At the halfway point, Donaldson is second in the AL with a .374 batting average in the seventh inning or later. With runners in scoring position, he's hitting at a clip of .386, which is third best in the league.
Just Stupid With The Bases Loaded
81 games into the season, Donaldson is batting .750 (6-for-8) with the base loaded with a double, home run and 13 RBIs. Wow.
Full Extension Defense
Donaldson has an expansive range, an incredibly high baseball-IQ and a cannon-like arm, as we see above.
Donaldson got demoted twice last year: once in May when he was hitting .094 for the Athletics, and then again a month later when he was floundering at .154. Donaldson went down to Triple-A and tore up the Pacific Coast League before returning to hit .290 for the team in the second half, as the Athletics made an improbable playoff run. Above we see him pointing into the dugout after cracking a ninth-inning double in the ALDS. This year, the athletic third baseman has literally carried the Athletics on his back for extended stretches.