Minnesota Twins baseball could be nearing a return, and Josh Donaldson is looking to establish himself as a Twins leader.
Several Minnesota Twins players had career seasons in 2019, so we wanted to take a look ahead for what those player’s seasons might look like in 2020. We started off the series with Nelson Cruz, Byron Buxton, Jorge Polanco, and Mitch Garver, continuing today with Josh Donaldson.
Donaldson signed a massive contract in the offseason with the Twins for 4 years/$92 million, setting a team record for largest contract in franchise history. His 2019 included some pretty great stats:
- 159 G, .259 BA/.379 OBP/.900 OPS, 37 HR, 94 RBI, 6.0 WAR
It was a bounce back season for a player who really needed it. Donaldson had a rough 2018 where he only managed to play in 52 games after already having a subpar 2017. It looked as though the former MVP was finally slowing down before his 37 homer outburst.
Donaldson is no where near the player he was in the middle of the decade, when he won an MVP and could hit consistently for average, but the Twins didn’t sign him to do that. The team signed him to hit for power (he should) and play elite defense (he will).
Donaldson’s defense has always been reliable at the hot corner, and that ability is part of the reason the Twins wanted to bring him into the organization. It also allowed Miguel Sano to move over to first to help cover his defensive shortcomings.
Donaldson is also known throughout the league as a clubhouse guy, a leader who can help keep things good in the league when things aren’t going well. The Twins already have a couple of those type guys in Nelson Cruz and Sergio Romo, but it always helps to have more of those type of guys.
Towards the end of his contract, it is likely Donaldson will move to first or DH as he gets older, but for now the Twins hooked the biggest free agent fish they’ve gotten in a while. Hopefully Donaldson leads the way in 2020 for a very good Twins team.