Josh Donaldson's first year with the Toronto Blue Jays will go down in history. After hitting 41 homers, driving in 123 runs and leading the Jays to the AL East title, Donaldson was named the AL MVP on Thursday.
Donaldson received 23 of 30 first-place votes from the Baseball Writers Association of America, besting the reigning AL MVP Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels, who got seven first-place votes. Lorenzo Cain of the Kansas City Royals finished third. There was some debate whether Trout could repeat, but in the end, voters preferred Donaldson in rather convincing fashion. Perhaps surprisingly so.
If you like runs — and what baseball team doesn't — it was hard not to vote for Donaldson. He led the AL in RBIs and runs scored, plus hit .297 and played great defense at third base. In context, he made a big difference in Toronto, where his bat proved to be the missing piece for a potent lineup that scored the most runs in baseball and won its first AL East crown since 1993.
It's yet another award for Donaldson this season, who also won the AL Hank Aaron award, a Silver Slugger, and the Sporting News and MLBPA's Player of the Year. The BBWAA voters agreed and now Donaldson can add one more piece of hardware to his mantle.
To get here, Donaldson took a different path. He wasn't a high-profile prospect, getting traded by the Chicago Cubs before he even made the big leagues. He switched positions, from catcher to third base, upon joining the Oakland A's and had a breakout season in 2013 at 27 years old.
Now you can bet fans in both Oakland and Chicago are wishing they still had Donaldson.
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