Josh Donaldson Now in Line for Free-Agent Riches After Rediscovering MVP Form

Bleacher Report

When the Atlanta Braves made a $23 million bet on Josh Donaldson last winter, how he would bounce back after consecutive injury-marred seasons was anyone's guess.

Put it this way: He's bounced himself toward a payday worth more than $23 million.

After a good-not-great first half marked by an .854 OPS and 18 home runs, the 33-year-old has dominated the second half with a form reminiscent of his days as an All-Star and MVP for the Oakland Athletics and Toronto Blue Jays, respectively.

The "Bringer of Rain" has played in 62 games since the break and racked up a .972 OPS and 19 homers, the most recent of which have inspired umbrella-infused celebrations in the Braves dugout.

It's not overstating it to say Donaldson has been one of the National League's best players. According to Baseball Reference, he ranks sixth among NL hitters with 5.7 wins above replacement.

His stardom is also a fundamental part of an even prettier big picture in Atlanta. Along with Freddie Freeman and Ronald Acuna Jr., Donaldson has been one of the main drivers of the NL's second-highest-scoring offense. Said offense is the bedrock of the club's 93 wins and stranglehold on the NL East.

#baseball, #professional

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