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In Praise of Josh Donaldson

Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

We have a sponsored post. The nice people at Maytag want us to write about the player on our team that is most willing to get his jersey dirty to win a game (you can see why it is a natural for Maytag). Since we play on turf, our guys don't get as much chance to get their jerseys dirty, but the idea is to pick out the player on the team that will do anything to win. Now I believe that all 25 guys on the roster would do anything to win. Let's use this as an excuse to talk about Josh Donaldson for a few minutes.

I'll pick Donaldson because this play pretty much defines what MayTag asking:

When we traded for Donaldson, I knew he was going to be good, but getting to watch him play every day, you get to see just how good. We've been lucky enough to watch some very good defensive third basemen in Toronto, over the past few years. Scott Rolen, Brett Lawrie and now Donaldson. Josh does remind me of Lawrie. Terrific range, great arm, just none of that Red Bull infused over-the-top aggressiveness. I mean there is plenty of aggression, but just not that over the top stuff.   And, of course, Josh has been able to keep from getting injured.

FanGraphs has him as the 5th best defensive 3B in the AL, just behind Evan Longoria. He loses some points for errors, he's had the 3rd most errors among AL third basement (15) behind Chase Headley and Brett Lawrie (18 each). Most of his errors seem to come from maybe trying to do too much, making a bad throw when he should just hold on to the ball. But when you can make plays like this, that will happen:

He's also very smart on the field. We've seen this play a couple of times:

Of course, his bat has been pretty amazing as well. He's hitting .295/.363/.569 with 29 home runs. He's leading the league in runs scored and RBI (thanks for putting him in the 2 spot Gibby. Of the 30 managers in the MLB, if given the Jays roster, how many would be smart enough to have Tulowitzki and Donaldson batting 1-2?). He's 3rth in the AL in home runs, 3rd in Isolated Power and 4th in wOBA.

His walk rate is down a little bit from last year (might have something to do with having Jose Bautista batting behind him), but just about everything else is up from last year.

And who doesn't like walk-off hits:

Other teams have noticed how good he is, you don't throw at the head of just anyone:

I'm still amazed the Donaldson is a Blue Jay. He does remind me of Jose Bautista. He's not afraid to let his opinion be known, out there on the field. He plays with a fire. He'll let the umpire know when he isn't happy.

I don't know how Alex hypnotized Billy Beane into trading Josh to us, but Alex deserves some sort of medal for doing it.

You can use the thread to praise Josh.

As the official washer and dryer of MLB, Maytag brand is searching for the "Filthiest Plays of the Week." Starting August 3rd ball players of any level can upload a picture or video of their "filthy play" using #MyFilthiestPlay for a chance to win a trip to the World Series plus a Maytag brand Top Load Washer and Dryer pair1. Baseball fans have the power to vote for their favorite filthy play each week at Maytag on Twitter and Instagram to stay up-to-date with the newest and filthiest plays.