12 July 2006

Josh Donaldson is making presence felt

Making it seem like he has been playing in the Cape League all his life, Josh Donaldson is on pace for a spectacular season offensively and defensively for the Harwich Mariners. 

Named this weeks Cape League player of the week, the Auburn University junior-to-be is fourth in the league in hitting with a .342 average and leads the league in hits (27), doubles (8) and extra base hits (10). Hes also second in RBI (13) fourth in runs scored (14) and fifth in slugging percentage (.519). 

"He has been our best hitter by far this year," said Harwich manager Steve Englert. "Even though we knew what we were getting, were still a little surprised at how well hes doing. It takes most guys a little time to get used to using wooden bats and the pitching in this league, but Josh was able to jump right in and be successful. Even most of the outs that he has made have been hard-hit balls." 

Donaldson is riding a 12-game hit streak, including a hit in every game the Mariners have played in July. In that 12-game span, hes 17-45. 

He has also shown a flair for the dramatic, connecting for a game-winning, two-run blast in extra innings against Chatham last Friday, his second home run of the season. 

But his numbers at the plate are just part of the story. The versatile Donaldson, listed at 6-foot, 1-inch and 200 pounds, has done very well defensively in a couple different positions. 

"Hes done a great job at third and as catcher for us in a few games. It seems no matter where he plays defensively, hes going to do a solid job for us," said Englert. "Hes a good presence on this team." 

Donaldson has played 20 games for Harwich this season, including 10 at third base and seven at catcher, and made only three errors. He has also been DH for seven games. 

By Matt Rice/ mrice@cnc.com