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Blue Jays 2015 Year in Review: AL MVP Josh Donaldson

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The Toronto Blue Jays have their first AL MVP since 1987. We look back on the MVP year that was for Josh Donaldson!

The Blue Jays Josh Donaldson would get his start, being drafted 48th overall by the Chicago Cubs, back in 2007. He moved up through their system, with hopes of becoming their starting catcher. His career with the Cubs wouldn’t last long, as he was traded to the Athletics after only two seasons with the Cubs but it wouldn’t be until 2010 that Donaldson, would make his major league debut. Josh’s first major league hit, a two-run homer against the Blue Jays – seems fitting.

Oakland would discover Josh’s versatility, athleticism, his amazing arm, and consider him as a third basemen instead of a catcher. Josh would have to work his new position out for a few more years in the minors, playing 166 minor league games from 2011-2012. Josh’s production at the plate would take off which was good timing  as Josh was also ready to play third base at the major league level. Donaldson in 2012 would play 75 games, not blowing away the competition at the plate, but it would be his defence that would keep him in the lineup. Posting a +6.8 Def rating, only committing one error, with a UZR of 5.4. 2013 would be Donaldson’s first year as a full time player, and he would never look back. With a 7.6WAR in 2013, becoming an All-Star in 2014, Donaldson seemed to have clicked every part of his game.

Toronto Blue Jays
Toronto Blue Jays /

Toronto Blue Jays

The Good:

It’s fair to say that Roberto Alomar, is probably the best player to ever wear a Blue Jays uniform, but after the 2015 season that Josh Donaldson had, he had the best single season as a Blue Jays. After being traded by the Oakland Athletics in the 2014 offseason, for Brett Lawrie, Kendall Gravemen, Sean Nolin, and Franklin Barreto, his initial reaction was shock coming to the Blue Jays. For some Blue Jays fans, this became a, ‘Where were you when this trade happened’. When the season started, the dream of watching Josh Donaldson play that hot corner turned true. Slapping home runs to either side of the field, bringing in runs in the clutch, and making bare-handed catches with ease. It seemed like the Blue Jays had added a once in a generation talent, to an already impressive roster.

Donaldson would come out of the season hot, and never look back, seeming to never take a game off. Whether it was a Saturday nationally televised game in Yankee Stadium, or a Tuesday game in Cleveland, Donaldson would go all out. His resilience would help him transcend to becoming the best player in the league, being voted in as a starter in the All-Star game, with over 14 million votes, win the AL Hank Aaron Award, the Silver Slugger, and as of last night become the second Blue Jay player in history to win the AL MVP award.

*Comparing the two Blue Jays MVP Seasons. George Bell won the MVP 1987.

The Bad:

Saying much bad about Josh Donaldson is like criticizing Daniel Day Lewis in any movie, or finding flaws in Steph’s Curry shooting. It’s just not possible. What didn’t Donaldson do this year? If you can find some flaws in Donaldon’s season, then you need to write a lengthy comment below, along with takes on Daniel Day Lewis or Steph Curry. Simply expecting anymore out of Donaldson is just flat out impossible. Jumping into the crowd to save a perfect game, or hitting walk-offs at will, Donaldson was the best player in the league and pointing at any faults isn’t deserving. Let’s just take the bad section to again congratulate Josh Donaldson on winning the AL MVP.

The Future:

If Josh Donaldson continues on the pace he is going, we can expect him to continue to be great for years to come. Only time will tell, one of the best things about Donaldson, is the Blue Jays have time to see how good he can become. Donaldson doesn’t reach free agency until 2019, but enters arbitration at the end of this season, where he is most definitely going to get a hefty pay raise.

Next: Blue Jays Awards: Best Hustle

Donaldson not only has become the best player on the field, but the leader in a sport city dying for a winner. Donaldson has become the leader of the Blue Jays, and will continue that path for the future. As for 2015, Toronto couldn’t have asked for anything more this season out of someone who is surely going to become one of this cities greatest sports icons.

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