Jays From the Couch will look at projections made for Toronto Blue Jays 3rd basemen, Josh Donaldson’s 2016 season
Where do we go from here? That is the question many Toronto Blue Jays fans, media, and I am sure some in the front office are asking themselves about, Josh Donaldson. His 2015 season was as magical as they come – unless your name is Mike Trout – thus leaving all projection numbers for the upcoming season looking sub-par in comparison. Before we start asking how they could all look at him to regress, it is good to understand that projection models tend to side with the conservative.
While last season’s stats (297/371/568, 41 HR, 123 RBI) are fun, it would be unfair to immediately assume they are repeatable. Most often career seasons – as 2015 was for Donaldson – are just that. So, if the All-Star’s numbers were to fall somewhere between his projections and his 2015 numbers, it would be looked at as a very successful season. In fact, if the Auburn alum were to meet his averaged projection numbers of 280/357/537, 32 HR, 101 RBI, he would be considered an All-Star, and probably be in the discussion for the Silver Slugger award again, which he won in 2015. Health provided, there doesn’t seem anything that can prevent him from meeting these projections this season. Slumps happen, of course, but Donaldson’s ability to stay within himself, has certainly provided the consistency most players envy.
Now that I have dispensed with the logical/mathematical part (I don’t do this often, so bare with me) of the discussion, would I dare say Donaldson can duplicate the amount of precipitation he helped bring to the Rogers Centre in 2015? Absolutely. I can say without a shadow of a doubt, I firmly believe the third basemen can repeat his MVP season. The reasons for my prediction:
- Athletic Prime – Donaldson is 30 years old, he is smack dab in the middle of his athletic prime, and seemingly getting better at this point.
- Willingness to Learn – Typically this wouldn’t register with most people when looking at predictions; however I think it plays a big part in Donaldson’s success. He is always striving to find ways to make himself, not only better, but smarter. Whether if it’s his swing path, defense, or general understanding of nuances, he soaks it up as a student of the game.
- Durability – Donaldson has proven his durability by playing 158 games each of the last three seasons. Things can change, and injuries happen; however there is nothing over the past three seasons that gives me reason to be concerned.
- Blue Jays lineup – Their lineup is still the top offensive lineup in all of Major League Baseball. A team that scored 891 runs in 2015, and will add a healthy Troy Tulowitzki to start the season, is a lineup that will offer more than its fair share of opportunities for Donaldson to maximize his production.
- New Infield at Rogers Centre – The new dirt infield should give, a better – more even, playing surface for all the Blue Jays’ infielders, specifically Donaldson. His style of play does not typically coincide well with turf, so having dirt for him to run and dive after balls on, will be beneficial, in the short and long-term.
Only time will tell if our soon to be Viking, can deliver another big season for the Toronto Blue Jays in 2016. While injuries and bad luck can derail a season, please do the responsible thing, and bring your umbrella to the Dome. It’s in your best interest.
*Feature Image Credit: Arturo Pardavila III under CC BY-SA 2.0
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Wade is a long time baseball fan who has been involved with the game for over 30 years. Including as a former college player, amateur pitching coach, and blogger.