Donaldson earns first Player of Week Award
Third baseman leads AL with seven doubles, .633 OBP during stretch
OAKLAND -- Josh Donaldson's breakfast was spiced up a bit Monday morning when he turned on MLB Network to learn of an unexpected announcement.
The A's third baseman was told by the television that he'd been named American League Player of the Week.
"I was like, 'Really? This is crazy,'" Donaldson said later in the day at the Coliseum. "I knew I put a decent week together, but I really didn't expect something like that. I'm very appreciative of it."
It was better than decent. The 27-year-old Donaldson went 12-for-22 (.545) with seven doubles and an AL-high 10 RBIs, along with seven walks -- he compiled just 14 in 75 games last year -- and four runs scored.
All the while, Donaldson raised his batting average 73 points, from .246 to its current .319, entering play Monday. He also more than doubled his season RBI total, which sat at eight entering the week.
"This type of recognition is important to me," he said. "I feel like I have the ability to perform at this level, and it's just about going out there and doing it every day. The great thing about baseball is it doesn't matter how much you're making or how long you've been in the game. Every day you get a chance to prove yourself, and it makes it fun to go out there and play."
"Congratulations to him and well-deserved," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "You've seen in this [week-long] stretch, he's hit the ball everywhere. He's seeing the ball well and not trying to do too much and letting his ability take over."
Melvin said he believes Donaldson's defense should garner just as much attention as the numbers he's putting up at the plate.
"I think he's one of the better defenders over there in the league," he said. "We saw that last year. Even when he was struggling offensively, he didn't let it affect his defense. He's just a good athlete. He could probably play anywhere on the diamond."