Good news for the Chicago White Sox. They do not have to face Josh Donaldson and the Toronto Blue Jays again until July.
That is very good news. Donaldson absolutely torched the Sox throughout the series, batting .642 and slugging 1.818 over the three-game set.
Closer David Robertson blew two saves courtesy of the bat of Donaldson, giving up two game-tying HR’s.
Donaldson’s numbers might be a little inflated because of that series, but there is no doubt that he has been the most reliable and consistent Jays player this season. He should EASILY make his second consecutive All-Star game, and most likely start. Mike Moustakas of the qis the only other likely choice at third base.
The Blue Jays have maybe the best 2-3-4 lineup in the league.
At least on paper. Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion haven’t been totally consistent yet this season. It seems like when one is hot, the other isn’t.
Donaldson has been the main man in that #2 hole all year, and the numbers say so.
His April (.319 5 HR 17 RBI) and May (.312 7 HR 17 RBI) numbers are eerily similar, and he has been the one to carry the offense so far, especially while Russell Martin, Encarnacion, and Bautista were struggling and Jose Reyes was back and forth to the disabled list.
Donaldson had his first breakout season in 2013, when he finally became the everyday third baseman for the Oakland Athletics, but he didn’t earn an All-Star nod, despite the fact that his Pre All-Star numbers (.310/.379/.522) in 13′ was better than his numbers (.238/.317/.449) last season, when he did earn a ticket to the All-Star game.
This season, he is well on his way to breaking all of his career highs, as he ranks 5th in the AL in OPS (.965), 1st in runs (41), 4th in hits (59), 3rd in total bases (111), 5th in doubles (13), 3rd in HR’s (13), 4th in RBI (35), and 1st in extra-base hits (26).
Now, in the past two seasons, he has seen his post All-Star game numbers take a minor dip, especially last season, but I would expect that to change this season because of the team that he has around him.
Last season, Yoenis Cespedes was traded at the trade deadline, and Brandon Moss struggled mightily down the stretch, so the lineup protection for Donaldson was not there.
This season, you would have to expect that the big guys behind Donaldson (Encarnacion and Bautista) to heat up eventually. Even Chris Collabello (.386 average) has come out hot.
Donaldson’s numbers are much better at home (.375 10 HR 23 RBI) than on the road (.238 2 HR 10 RBI) but hey, he will play 81 games there so an 100-RBI season is not out of the question.
His HR percentage has gone from 3.6 (13′) to 4.2 (14′) to 5.8 this season and his extra-base hit percentage (12.1) is a career high.
Will he slow down? I highly doubt it considering the ballpark that he’s playing in and the teammates behind him.
Will he win the AL MVP award? I’m not calling it, but he has a much better shot at it than he had in 2013, when he finished fourth in voting.
– Khristian Peel