Josh Donaldson
Josh Donaldson
33-Year-Old Third Baseman3B
Atlanta Braves
2019 Fantasy Outlook
Donaldson finished as one of 2018's biggest busts. In his age-32 season, he missed 18 games with shoulder inflammation (which hindered throws from third base) before a calf injury sidelined him from May 28 to Sept. 11 -- he returned to major-league competition days after Toronto traded him to Cleveland. His contact percentage tanked while his Statcast barrel rate dropped from a handy 8.7% in 2017 to a worrisome 6.4%. Keep in mind, however, that he's just one season removed from a .944 OPS, 33-homer effort. Further, he still walked in 14.2% of his plate appearances last year and rattled off a .396 wOBA in 60 September plate appearances. The Bringer of Rain landed with the Braves on a one-year deal in November, and while that means he won't have the luxury of DHing on occasion, he will be hitting in the heart of a strong lineup. Just plan for more off days than most heart-of-the-order bats if you target him as a bargain run producer. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
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$Signed a one-year, $23 million contract with the Braves in November of 2018.
Bashes 23rd home run
3BAtlanta Braves
July 21, 2019
Donaldson went 2-for-4 with a solo home run in Sunday's victory over Washington.
Donaldson swatted a 432-foot home run to left field in the sixth inning, then singled in another run in the seventh. The impressive outing continued Donaldson's productive July in which he has compiled a 1.221 OPS along with eight homers and 18 runs batted in. After a pair of injury-plagued seasons, the 33-year-old has enjoyed a resurgent 2019, slashing .256/.374/.521 with 23 homers and 58 RBI in 340 at-bats.
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Batting Stats
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Batting Order Slot Breakdown
vs Right-Handed Pitchers
vs RHP
vs Left-Handed Pitchers
vs LHP
Left/Right Batting Splits
Since 2017
Since 2017vs Left .925 259 38 17 40 2 .248 .378 .547
Since 2017vs Right .890 862 115 47 119 5 .264 .374 .516
2019vs Left .796 91 12 4 10 1 .197 .374 .423
2019vs Right .921 315 46 19 48 2 .271 .375 .546
2018vs Left .900 68 11 3 9 1 .276 .382 .517
2018vs Right .756 151 19 5 14 1 .233 .338 .419
2017vs Left 1.051 100 15 10 21 0 .271 .380 .671
2017vs Right .917 396 50 23 57 2 .270 .386 .530
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Home/Away Batting Splits
Since 2017
OPS at Home
OPS at Home
OPS on Road
OPS on Road
Since 2017Home .915 540 70 32 70 2 .261 .385 .530
Since 2017Away .882 581 83 32 89 5 .260 .365 .517
2019Home 1.027 194 29 14 29 0 .276 .418 .609
2019Away .781 212 29 9 29 3 .239 .335 .446
2018Home .768 117 16 4 8 2 .238 .342 .426
2018Away .839 102 14 4 15 0 .256 .363 .477
2017Home .901 229 25 14 33 0 .260 .380 .521
2017Away .981 267 40 19 45 2 .278 .390 .592
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Stat Review
How does Josh Donaldson compare to other hitters?
This section compares his stats with all batting seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 400 plate appearances)*. The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that stat and it would be considered average.

* Exit Velocity and Barrels/PA % are benchmarked against this season's data (min 200 PA) and Hard Hit Rate is benchmarked against last season's data (min 400 PA). See here for more exit velocity/barrels stats plus an explanation of current limitations with that data set.
  • BB/K
    Walk to strikeout ratio
  • BB Rate
    The percentage of plate appearances resulting in a walk.
  • K Rate
    The percentage of plate appearances resulting in a strikeout.
    Batting average on balls in play. Measures how many of a batter’s balls in play go for hits.
  • ISO
    Isolated Power. Slugging percentage minus batting average. A computation used to measure a batter's raw power.
  • AVG
    Batting average. Hits divided by at bats.
  • OBP
    On Base Percentage. A measure of how often a batters reaches base. Roughly equal to number of times on base divided by plate appearances.
  • SLG
    Slugging Percentage. A measure of the batting productivity of a hitter. It is calculated as total bases divided by at bats.
  • OPS
    On base plus slugging. THe sum of a batter's on-base percentage and slugging percentage.
  • wOBA
    Weighted on-base average. Measures a player's overall offensive contributions per plate appearance. wOBA combines all the different aspects of hitting into one metric, weighting each of them in proportion to their actual run value.
  • Exit Velocity
    The speed of the baseball as it comes off the bat, immediately after a batter makes contact.
  • Hard Hit Rate
    A measure of contact quality from Sports Info Solutions. This stat explains what percentage of batted balls were hit hard vs. medium or soft.
  • Barrels/PA
    The percentage of plate appearances where a batter had a batted ball classified as a Barrel. A Barrel is a batted ball with similar exit velocity and launch angle to past ones that led to a minimum .500 batting average and 1.500 slugging percentage.
BB Rate
K Rate
Exit Velocity
92.6 mph
Hard Hit Rate
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Additional Stats
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Defensive Stats
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
While most of Toronto's bats languished in 2017, Donaldson only noticed a minor dip in performance once he shook off an early-season calf injury, which cost him about six weeks. After struggling initially upon his return, Donaldson found his swing in the second half, ranking fifth in baseball with a 160 wRC+ after the All-Star break while swatting 24 home runs and reaching base at a .386 clip. The lack of production around Donaldson still proved costly, however, particularly in the runs category, where his total dropped from 122 in 2016 to 65 in 2017. The Blue Jays' aging offensive nucleus makes it unlikely that Donaldson will hit the lofty heights in runs and RBI he reached in 2015 and 2016, but the 32-year-old remains one of the game's premier power bats, even in an era of rising home-run outputs. There is still a lot to like here, though his team context probably takes Donaldson out of the first-round conversation.
Donaldson's 2016 season wasn't as productive as his 2015 MVP campaign, but he still returned first-round value. Playing through nagging injuries all year, the third baseman managed the second-most runs (122) and walks (109) in the league while ranking in the top five for slugging percentage (.549) and OPS (.953). When evaluating Donaldson's 2016, it's important to recognize that some numbers dipped primarily because he was pitched around. The 30-year-old had only 11 fewer plate appearances than the previous season, but 43 less at-bats. He demonstrated incredible plate discipline with a 0.9 BB/K and 15.6 percent walk rate. Although ailments popped up throughout the season, he managed to never miss an extended period of time, and none of the injuries should linger into 2017. He is in the prime of his career, and could once again be a MVP candidate in 2017.
Donaldson earned his first American League MVP award behind a brilliant season in Toronto, in which he set career highs in home runs (41), runs scored (122), RBI (123), and OPS (.939). The move from Oakland's cavernous coliseum to the homer-happy Rogers Centre led to by far the best power production of Donaldson's career. Donaldson was a fine .263/.343/.487 hitter on the road, but he hit a blistering .330/.398/.647 in Canada, where he clubbed 24 of his 41 homers. Donaldson has been a great hitter for a few years now — since 2005, only three players have multiple seasons of 20 home runs for Oakland: Jack Cust, Brandon Moss, and Donaldson. In other words, even though Donaldson had a career year, it wasn't that far above what we already knew he could do. He will be the engine in the Blue Jays' lineup again next year, and there is no reason he can't repeat this effort.
There was much discussion last offseason as to whether Donaldson's 2013 season was a fluke, but after a second straight year of finishing in the top-10 of the AL MVP vote, it is pretty clear that Donaldson is here to stay. Donaldson improved on his power stats with 29 homers and 98 RBI, but the one black eye on his season was his large drop in batting average. After a sparkling .301 in 2013, Donaldson managed to only hit .255 in 2014. This drop can be attributed to a horrific slump from early June until the All-Star break where Donaldson hit .158 over a 133 at-bat stretch that was spurred by a ridiculously low .165 BABIP. His overall BABIP fell from .333 in 2013 to .278 in 2014. Traded to the Blue Jays in late November, Donaldson will move into a more hitter-friendly environment and an excellent lineup, which could further bolster his counting stats – particularly in the power categories – in 2015.
Donaldson was one of the breakout stars in all of baseball last year, hitting .301 with 24 homers and 93 RBI, finishing fourth in the AL MVP race and serving as the MVP for many fantasy owners who drafted him very late or added him early in the season as a free agent. Donaldson came on strong at the end of 2012 (a second-half OPS of .844) and carried that success into 2013. He was strong all season and only had one month (July) where he slumped, and he went on to finish the season in the top 10 in the AL in slugging, on-base percentage and OPS. Donaldson will hit in the middle of the order for the A's in 2014 and should be one of the top offensive third basemen in the league. For those who think last year was a fluke, thank them for passing on Donaldson, grab him in your league, and enjoy the production.
Donaldson was one of many interesting stories from the 2012 A's season. He began spring training as a catcher, but after Scott Sizemore tore his ACL on Day 1 of the camp, he was converted to third base. Initially, he struggled mightily at the plate while hitting .153 with one homer over 100 plate appearances, and was sent down to Triple-A. After Brandon Inge got hurt, Donaldson was called up and hit for a much better slash line of .290/.356/.489 over his final 176 at-bats and helped a number of fantasy teams who were able to use him as a catcher. A's general manager Billy Beane said that Sizemore would be moving to second base in 2013, which is a great sign that Donaldson will be the starter at third base on Opening Day.
Donaldson saw both his power and patience dip at Triple-A Sacramento, though 17 homers and 51 walks in 444 at-bats is far from terrible. His has no real role as long as Kurt Suzuki racks up 135-game campaigns as the A's catcher, despite a similar skill set, with Suzuki under contract through at least 2013. With Scott Sizemore suffering a torn ACL early in spring training, Donaldson will likely become a factor in the playing time battle at third base in Oakland. He offers a combo of moderate power and speed, and could provide an endgame option for AL-only and deep mixed formats if he wins the job.
Donaldson had 18 homers and 45 walks in just 294 at-bats at Triple-A Sacramento, though his season pales a bit upon initial inspection thanks to a .238 average. He's pretty well blocked in Oakland however with Kurt Suzuki locked up through 2013 this past summer.
Donaldson entered the 2008 season as a solid catching prospect, but was dealt to the A's as part of the Rich Harden deal after a terrible start to year (.217/.276/.349) at Low-A Peoria in the Cubs' system. He revived his prospect status once in the Oakland chain, hitting .330/.391/.564 at High-A Stockton in 188 at-bats before a decent showing in the Arizona Fall League (.288/.315/.452). He played exclusively at first base in the AFL, but Phoenix already had three catchers rostered so it's unclear if it's a permanent move from out behind the plate. He'll need to hit well at Double-A Midland, and stay behind the plate, before we can gauge his long-term fantasy potential.
More Fantasy News
Reaches base three times
3BAtlanta Braves
July 20, 2019
Donaldson went 1-for-3 with two walks and an RBI in Friday's 4-3 win over the Nationals.
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Carries offense in loss
3BAtlanta Braves
July 18, 2019
Donaldson went 2-for-4 with a walk, a home run and four RBI in Wednesday's loss to the Brewers.
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Clubs 21st homer
3BAtlanta Braves
July 13, 2019
Donaldson went 1-for-3 with a two-run homer, three runs scored and two walks in Saturday's 7-5 extra-inning win over the Padres.
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Homers twice in win
3BAtlanta Braves
July 12, 2019
Donaldson went 2-for-4 with two home runs and four RBI in Friday's 5-3 victory over the Padres.
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Rips 18th homer
3BAtlanta Braves
July 8, 2019
Donaldson went 2-for-4 with a double, a two-run home run and a second run scored in Sunday's win over the Marlins.
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