Can Atlanta Braves third baseman Josh Donaldson still be one of the best players in baseball? If you ask him, absolutely.
Donaldson was asked what he can bring his new team. Per David O’Brien of The Athletic, Donaldson responded in a rather blunt way.
The back of Donaldson’s card is pretty impressive.
He won the 2015 AL MVP and finished in the top-eight in AL MVP voting every year from 2013-2016. In that stretch, he hit .284/.375/.518 and averaged 33 home runs a year.
The 2018 season was unquestionably a rough one for Donaldson. He hit .246/.352/.449 with only eight home runs. But he was also bit hard by the injury bug, playing in only 52 games. Injuries were an issue in 2017, as well, as Donaldson got into only 113 games. But in those games, he hit .270/.385/.559 with 33 home runs.
Three years is an eternity in baseball, especially for a 33-year-old who’s dealt with injury issues. So, while Donaldson certainly can get back to his 2013-2016 production, expecting that may not be realistic.
But 2017’s production is a different story. If he can match that, even if it does come with a trip or two to the IL, the Braves will be just fine.