Should We Be Surprised by Josh Donaldson’s Success?


May 9, 2014; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Athletics third baseman Josh Donaldson (20, right) is congratulated by right fielder Josh Reddick (16, left) for scoring on a RBI-single by first baseman Brandon Moss (37, not pictured) against the Washington Nationals during the first inning at Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Last season, Josh Donaldson surprised people. He was no doubt the most valuable hitter on the Oakland Athletics and, if it weren’t for Miguel Cabrera, could have contended for the most valuable player of the entire American League. He hit .301 with 24 home runs and 93 RBI’s in his first full season in the major leagues.

The success Josh Donaldson had was unprecedented. Nobody would have said that Donaldson would turn into one of the top sluggers in the American league. Yet, when someone has a season so out of the blue, there will always be doubts.

The beginning of this season was no different for Josh Donaldson. Doubters were everywhere; even fans of Oakland Athletics were keeping their expectations in check. Most people believed he would come back down to earth this season, especially after a terrible showing at the plate in the playoffs. When he started out the season slow, the saying “I told you so” was thrown around here and there. The large group of Donaldson doubters seemed, to the dismay of A’s fans, to have come to the right conclusion about Donaldson.

But now Josh Donaldson is back again, as one of the best hitting and fielding third basemen in the MLB. He has played in 37 games this year and already has seven home runs to go along with 28 runs scored and 25 runs batted in. Yes, his batting average is lower than it was last season sitting at .266, but his productivity in terms of helping the A’s score runs has not diminished. The question is whether he will extend his great start the whole season. There will be doubters, but Josh Donaldson has taught us something, don’t be hasty to dismiss someone’s success as a fluke.

It is at this point that we must recognize a truth about Josh Donaldson: he has vastly improved as a hitter over the past two seasons. He should not be surprising us anymore; we should expect him to put up solid numbers in a fairly consistent matter. Like any hitter, he will have ups and downs, but that does not give us the right to attack him every time he has a mini slump. By the end of the season, his numbers will show Donaldson’s quality.

Attention MLB: Josh Donaldson is here to stay.