There’s no doubt that Donaldson has erupted for a huge second season. However, even with his .302 average, 23 home runs, 88 RBI and .890 OPS, he’s all but sure to be on the outside looking in due to his lack of a national profile.
There’s also the fact that while manager Bob Melvin described Donaldson to Stiglich as the team’s “most consistent producer,” he’s not the unanimous MVP. Just a couple of weeks ago, that award had to go to Coco Crisp. Then it was Brandon Moss, and how can we forget Jed Lowrie and his 43 doubles? The strength of this Oakland team is that it doesn’t have an MVP, or at least just one.
As ESPN’s Buster Olney wrote in his column: “Donaldson isn’t going to win the AL MVP award this season.” The way the third baseman’s playing, though, he’ll be the winner of the Gold Glove.
Donaldson will face tough competition in Evan Longoria and Manny Machado (Machado, of course, beat him out for an All-Star spot). Then again, neither of those defensive standouts has made the play that has widely been hailed as the catch of the season.
— MLB Memes (@MLBMeme) September 4, 2013
That play perfectly embodies the 27-year-old’s insane athleticism. The converted catcher has an extensive range, a rocket of an arm, and is a master of charging slowly hit balls before flinging darts across the diamond.
Donaldson plays nearly every day, and he plays every inning the same way. He plays with an energy that can be traced to his days as a football player in high school where he excelled as a wide receiver, running back, cornerback and punter. It’s an approach that has served Donaldson well, like when he’s about to dive headfirst into the stands while chasing a foul ball.
Back in April, A.J. Griffin had the following to say of Donaldson’s defense via Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle:
Griffin calls Josh Donaldson “an animal” at third base. #Athletics
— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) April 27, 2013
For now, the long-haired starter calls Donaldson an animal, but soon enough he might be calling him a Gold Glover.
Karl Buscheck is an Oakland Athletics writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @KarlBuscheck and add him to your network on Google.