Josh Donaldson
Josh Donaldson
33-Year-Old Third Baseman3B
 Free Agent  
Free Agent
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.
Rejects qualifying offer
3BFree Agent  
November 14, 2019
Donaldson rejected his qualifying offer Thursday, Mark Feinsand of MLB.com reports.
ANALYSIS
The move isn't entirely surprising, as Donaldson could be in line for a big payday after playing on a one-year deal with the Braves last year. The 33-year-old rebounded from a disappointing 2018 season by hitting .259/.379/.521 with 37 home runs and 94 RBI in 2019.
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Batting Stats
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Batting Order Slot Breakdown
vs Right-Handed Pitchers
vs RHP
#1
#2
#3
#4
#5
#6
#7
#8
#9
21
2
90
vs Left-Handed Pitchers
vs LHP
#1
#2
#3
#4
#5
#6
#7
#8
#9
10
2
24
Left/Right Batting Splits
Since 2017
 
 
+3%
OPS vs LHP
2019
 
 
+9%
OPS vs RHP
2018
 
 
+19%
OPS vs LHP
2017
 
 
+15%
OPS vs LHP
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2017vs Left .922 325 49 20 45 2 .246 .388 .534
Since 2017vs Right .893 1049 142 58 150 6 .265 .374 .520
2019vs Left .841 157 23 7 15 1 .215 .395 .446
2019vs Right .917 502 73 30 79 3 .271 .375 .542
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
 
 
+9%
OPS at Home
2019
 
 
+32%
OPS at Home
2018
 
 
+9%
OPS on Road
2017
 
 
+9%
OPS on Road
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2017Home .939 656 89 40 88 3 .267 .395 .544
Since 2017Away .865 718 102 38 107 5 .255 .361 .504
2019Home 1.037 310 48 22 47 1 .283 .426 .611
2019Away .785 349 48 15 47 3 .238 .338 .447
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 2019 data (min 400 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.
  • BABIP
    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/K
0.65
 
BB Rate
15.2%
 
K Rate
23.5%
 
BABIP
.292
 
ISO
.262
 
AVG
.259
 
OBP
.379
 
SLG
.521
 
OPS
.900
 
wOBA
.391
 
Exit Velocity
92.9 mph
 
Hard Hit Rate
47.5%
 
Barrels/PA
9.1%
 
Advanced Batting Stats
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Additional Stats
Games By Position
Defensive Stats
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Stats Vs Upcoming Pitchers
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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Josh Donaldson
The Z Files: My Top 20 Third Basemen
10 days ago
Todd Zola delivers his initial rankings of the top fantasy third basemen and questions whether Matt Chapman will keep improving, or if he's found his level.
Games Played By Position: 2020 Eligibility Notes
52 days ago
Clay Link looks at appearances by position and makes note of multi-position eligibility and lost eligibility for 2020.
FanDuel MLB: Wednesday Breakdown
59 days ago
Sasha Yodashkin looks over Wednesday's two-game slate as Ronald Acuna carries Atlanta's offense into a winner-take-all Game 5 against the Cardinals.
FanDuel MLB: Monday Breakdown
61 days ago
Even the biggest names among Monday's Division Series pitchers carry risk for FanDuel formats. Chris Bennett talks about whether Max Scherzer is worth the cost.
FanDuel MLB: Friday Playoff Breakdown
64 days ago
Adam Zdroik tees up Friday’s playoff slate, providing his picks for a winning FanDuel lineup.
Past Fantasy Outlooks
2018
2017
2016
2015
2014
2013
2012
2011
2009
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
Tendered qualifying offer
3BFree Agent  
November 4, 2019
Donaldson received a qualifying offer from the Braves on Monday.
ANALYSIS
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Homers in Game 5 loss
3BAtlanta Braves  
October 9, 2019
Donaldson went 1-for-4 with a solo home run in Wednesday's 13-1 loss to the Cardinals in Game 5 of the NLDS.
ANALYSIS
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Starting in Game 1
3BAtlanta Braves  
October 3, 2019
Donaldson will start in Game 1 of the National League Division Series against the Cardinals on Thursday, batting fourth.
ANALYSIS
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Sitting due to bruised hip
3BAtlanta Braves  
Hip
September 29, 2019
Donaldson was scratched from the lineup for Sunday's game against the Mets due to a bruised left hip, Mark Bowman of MLB.com reports.
ANALYSIS
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Scratched from lineup
3BAtlanta Braves  
September 29, 2019
Donaldson was scratched from the lineup for Sunday's game against the Mets, Mark Bowman of MLB.com reports.
ANALYSIS
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