Jason Donald Makes MLB Debut

May 18, 2010

TUCSON, Ariz. – Former Arizona shortstop Jason Donald was called up to Major League Baseball on Monday night and made his MLB debut on Tuesday against the Tampa Bay Rays.

Donald, a native of Clovis, Calif., starred at Arizona from 2004-06 before being selected with the 97th overall pick in the third round of the 2006 MLB First-Year Player Draft by the Philadelphia Phillies. He was traded to the Indians organization last July.

At Arizona, Donald was the starting shortstop on the 2004 College World Series team. That year, he turned in a sensation freshman season as he was named Baseball America second team Freshman All-America and Collegiate Baseball Freshman All-America. He set UA freshman records for at bats (261) and hits (84) as he finished with a .322 batting average.

Over his next two seasons, Donald remained a key player for the Wildcats. He hit .288 as a sophomore and .332 as a junior in 2006, when he finished with a 26-game hitting streak to end his career. Donald hit 46 doubles, 10 triples and 20 home runs in his three seasons with the Wildcats.

Drafted by the Phillies following the completion of his junior season, Donald progressed quickly through the organization, playing for the Lakewood BlueClaws, the Phillies' Class-A affiliate, in 2007 and the Reading Phillies (Class-AA) in 2008. Donald participated in the 2008 XM All-Star Futures game on July 13 at Yankee Stadium, where the U.S. team lost to the World Team, 3-0.

Donald was named to the U.S. Olympic Baseball Team in the summer of 2008 where he was one of 24 players selected to represent the United States at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. Donald led the team with a .381 average in helping Team USA win a bronze medal.

After being traded to the Indians organization last summer, Donald made an immediate impact on his new club. He opened the 2010 season with the Triple-A Columbus Clippers, where he was joined by former Wildcats Shelley Duncan, Jordan Brown and Trevor Crowe.

Crowe was recently called up to the Indians and has appeared in four games. He was the leadoff hitter and starting centerfielder in today’s game against Tampa Bay, while Donald was penciled in the No. 9 spot and the starting shortstop. Donald collected a base hit in his first major league at bat.

Donald becomes the sixth member of Arizona’s 2004 College World Series team to reach the major leagues. Previously, John Meloan, Nick Hundley, Trevor Crowe, Mark Melancon and Brad Mills debuted.

A total of 64 former Arizona baseball players have played in the major leagues. Of those, nine players, including the five last season and Donald this year, were coached by Arizona head coach Andy Lopez, who is now in his ninth season with the school.