With hard work and a studious approach, Jason Donald is establishing himself as a legitimate prospect. Donald was a second round pick for the Phillies in 2006 and assigned to the Batavia Muckdogs of the New York Penn League, where he was selected to the mid-season all star team in his first professional season.
is off to a tremendous start through the first 28 games of the 2007 season, leading the Lakewood BlueClaws with a .369 average, 3 homeruns, 22 runs scored, and 23 RBI. He's fast becoming the catalyst for the BlueClaws offense, helping the team to a 5-2 record to begin the month of May. In the early days of May, Donald is hitting .609 with 2 HR and 9 RBI. His hot hitting earned him two awards for the past week, by being named the Philadelphia Phillies Minor League Player of the week as well as the South Atlantic League offensive player of the week. Donald tore up SAL pitching with a .555 average, 2 HR and 10 RBI to earn the awards for the week. Donald credits his approach to each at bat for his success. "I'm trying to keep a consistent approach at the plate day in and day out." Much of Donald's recent success has come at the expense of the Lake County Captains. Donald is 9-for-22 with 3 HR and 10 RBI against Lake County. "It's a hitters park with a fast infield and the familiarity with the pitching staff the second time around allowed me to have success," said Donald on his recent success against Lake County on back-to-back weekends. One of those games featured Donald's first homerun of the year, a grand slam in the ninth with the BlueClaws trailing 4-1. The homer gave the BlueClaws a 5-4 lead and the eventual victory.
Donald, the former Arizona Wildcat credited his coaching staff and his Pac 10 experience for much of his early success in the minors. He also played two summers in the prestigious Cape Cod baseball league during his collegiate tenure. This is Donald's first full-season in professional baseball and he is taking it one day at a time. "The day in and day out grind is the biggest challenge," said Donald on first full season in the minors. "Its all about mental preparation, you have to come to the ballpark, get your work in and be ready to play," said Donald on his approach to the daily grind.
Donald had a bittersweet night on Tuesday against the Greensboro Grasshoppers. He continued his hot hitting going 3-for-5 with a run scored, but stranded the game tying run at third, striking out for the final out of the game. "It's a learning experience, he is going to be in that situation many more times," said Manager Steve Roadcap on Donald's final at bat. Roadcap's confidence in Donald did not waver based on that final at bat. "There is nobody else I'd rather have up there in that situation," said Roadcap on having Donald at the plate with a chance to tie the game. Donald should have no problem bouncing back from the disappointment on Tuesday night. If the first 28 games of the 2007 season are any indication, Jason Donald has a bright future in professional baseball.