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Saturday, January 25, 2014

2014 FANTASY BASEBALL PLAYER ANALYZER: JOSH DONALDSON 3B OAKLAND A'S

                                                               Josh Donaldson

I have gotten more than a few e-mails lately regarding Oakland A's third baseman Josh Donaldson who seemed to come out of nowhere in 2013 and instantly transform himself into a top 7 every week starter at the hot corner.  Invariably the same questions always gets asked and that is:  is Josh Donaldson a one-year wonder or is he legit?  Might as well answer all of those e-mails in one fell swoop so let's get at it.

Looking back at Donaldson's awesome 2013 season, the numbers certainly screamed out top level fantasy baseball third baseman.  Donaldson batted .301 with 24 home runs and 93 RBI while also scoring 89 runs and swiping 5 bases.  All those numbers earned Donaldson a sixth place finish in the American League MVP voting which even the man's mom wouldn't have foreseen when the season got underway.  How did Donaldson come out of nowhere like that and literally turn into an overnight sensation?  Well in actuality Donaldson didn't come out of nowhere overnight and instead quietly began making a name for himself during the second half of 2012 when nobody was watching. 

In taking a trip down memory lane, Donaldson hit .290 during the last three months of the 2012 season and was a scorching hot .335 at Triple-A.  When you combine Donaldson's MLB and Triple-A numbers in 2012, the result was 22 home runs and 9 stolen bases.  Thus Donaldson went into 2013 confident which showed as he smacked the baseball right out of the gates and never let up. 

Now as far as tackling the numbers from last season, pretty much everything checks out positively.  Donaldson's walk and K rates were in very solid territory and his 14.2 percent HR/FB rate is also very likely to be repeated.  A .333 BABIP is a bit high however so knock down Donaldson's average to around .285-.290 and all else looks good.  At 28-yars-old you can forget about any surge in any one category since Donaldson is now flat into his prime but the 24 HR/93 RBI/89 R/5 SB numbers from last season are all in play to be repeated.  That makes Donaldson a clear top 7 fantasy baseball third baseman behind Miguel Cabrera, Evan Longoria, David Wright, Ryan Zimmerman, Adrian Beltre, and Manny Machado in my opinion.  The guy is absolutely legit and other than a slight drop in batting average, will be just as solid a player as he was last season.

2014 PROJECTION:  .288 25 HR 95 RBI 91 R 5 SB

Be sure to check back for more of the starting pitching rankings as we move forward through the week.  Let us hear your thoughts.

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