For a long time, roughly three years, I been going to minor league Phillies games. Cheaper than the big club, but less thrilling. I have watched the likes of Jimmy Rollins, Pat Burrell, Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, Scott Rolen, Brett Myers, Ryan Madson, and none other than Cole Hamels.
With that in mind, meet the next shortstop/third baseman/utility infielder, and top prospect for the Philadelphia Phillies, Jason Donald.
Of course to start off, Jason Donald was born on Sept. 4, 1984 in Fresno, CA.
Donald, who turns 25 this year, was drafted originally by the Anaheim Angelsin the 20th Round in the 2003 MLB Draft. He was originally drafted out of high school by the Angels, but chose to go to college instead.
He was later drafted by the Philadelphia Philliesin the third round (97th overall) of the 2006 MLB Draft out of the University of Arizona.
Later that year Donald started his professional baseball career at the single-A short season New York-Penn league affiliate, the Batavia Muckdogs.
At Batavia, Donald hit .263 with 56 hits in 213 AB. Donald struckout 42 times while walking 23 and managed to steal 12 bases while only getting caught once. He knocked in 24 with 14 doubles, two triples and one home run.
He had an On Base Percentage of .347 and an OPS of .709.
In 2007, Donald started at class-A Lakewood. At Lakewood, Donald hit .310 with 61 hits in 197 AB. He struckout 39 times while walking 29 times. He knocked in 30 with nine doubles, three triples and five home runs.
At Lakewood, Donald had an On Base Percentage of .409 and a OPS of .855.
Jason would be promoted to the Advanced single-A league affiliate, Clearwater. While at Clearwater, Donald continued to hit the ball well. He hit .300 with 88 hits in .293 AB. He struckout 70 times while walking 35 times.
He also drove in 41 with 22 doubles, five triples, and eight home runs.
Donald's combined single-A 2007 numbers: 134 G, 490 AB, 149 H, 89 Runs, 12 HR, 31 2B, 8 3B, 71 RBI, 5 SB, .304 BA, .395 OBP, .473 SLG, and .869 OPS.
In 2008, Donald was promoted double-A affiliate, Reading of the Eastern League. At Reading, Donald hit .307 with 111 hits in 362 AB. Donald struckout 86 times, but walked 47 times.
He also had 19 doubles, four triples, 14 home runs, 54 RBI and 11 stolen bases. At Reading he had an OBP of .384, a SLG of .497, and an OPS of .889.
In 2008, Donald was selected to the United States Olympic Baseball team for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. In the Bronze Medal Game of the 2008 Olympics, Donald homered and led team USA to a Bronze Medal.
Donald led his Olympic team in batting average, on base percentage, and slugging percentage in which he hit .381 for the Olympic Games.
During the 2008 Minor League seasons, Donald was selected to several All-Star games/ events. Which included the biggest minor league All-Star game of them all, the MLB Future All-Star Game. He also participated in the 2008 double-A, Eastern League All-Star Game.
Right now, Donald is playing with the triple-A affiate of the Phillies: The Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs.
During the 2009 Spring Training, the Phillies had Donald start and play games at third base. This was because the Phillies were not sure if current third baseman, Pedro Felizwas going to be ready by Opening Day. Feliz was recovering from off-season back surgery.
Donald was also considered one of the front-runners for a spot on the bench on the Phillies 25 man roster, along with John Mayberry Jr., Lou Marson, Miguel Cairo, Pablo Ozuna, and Marcus Giles. Donald was sent down to triple-A along with Mayberry, Marson, and Ozuna.
My opinion on Jason Donald? Well, I think that he has the talent to become an All-Star in the Majors. If either Rollins or Feliz get injured look for the Phillies to call-up Donald and possibly platoon him with either Greg Dobbs and Eric Bruntlett.
Stats are courteously provided by Baseball Reference
His Bio is brought to you by Wikipedia.