2008 Bowman Sterling JASON DONALD Jersey Auto
Current eBay Price—$6.00-8.00
With perennial All-Star Chase Utley scheduled to be on the DL until as late as June and 3B Pedro Feliz rehabbing after having back surgery, the young University of Arizona grad and Team USA star will get plenty of opportunities to make the Phils’ opening day roster. Donald did his part to earn an opportunity, batting .307 with 14 HR 57 RBI 11 SB and 57 runs scored for AA Reading. Even more impressive, Donald was one of the leading hitters in the Arizona Fall League batting .407 with 5 HR 17 RBI and a stellar .747 SLG% for the Mesa Solar Sox. In addition to that fine performance, Donald was this year’s recipient of the 5th annual Dernell Stenson award. The award is given out to the AFL player who best exemplifies leadership, sportsmanship, work ethic, and unselfishness.
Donald has played SS for his entire career before making the switch over to 3B this spring. The fact that the middle infield for the Phillies are manned by All-Stars Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley, it becomes easy to understand why Philadelphia wanted him to make the transition to 3B. He should handle this fine from a defensive standpoint. He has decent arm strength, soft hands and his limited range is actually better suited for the hot corner. However, the power numbers, at this point, are a touch below average.
Ahh, but this is Philly, the team that won a World Series title with a 3B who hit a whopping .249 with 14 HR and 58 RBI. Donald could well exceed those numbers in a full rookie season. He has better plate discipline than Feliz and more speed as well. Granted Feliz’s defense is top notch, but Donald is far from a liability at the position. The Phillies lineup has enough other power in it (Howard, Utley, Ibanez, Werth) to worry much about Donald’s contributions.
That said, one caveat is the fact that Greg Dobbs is in the mix and he has done nothing but play well in a part time role. The Phils also went out and signed Marcus Giles in the off season to fill in at 2B in Utley’s absence. Spring training will tell us a great deal about Donald’s immediate future with the ball club. If he continues his great rate of success, his future in Philly may just make my previous pontifications about him being future trade bait a misnomer.
Jason has 1st year cards in the 2006 Bowman Chrome Draft set that sell for $0.75-1.25 each but his only certified autographs are in the 2008 Bowman Sterling set. With any amount of success, this card will easily jump into the $10-15 range by opening day. Donald has too many good things, both physically and intangibly going for him to be an MLB bust. The market for his cards is heating up considerably, though, so get them while they are cheap!