When he popped back onto the Tropicana Field turf, the ball in his glove, his tongue stuck brattily out of his mouth, there flashed the apparent essence of him: an exultantly cocky swagger of the sort we’ve viewed cautiously in the turbulent wake of Jose Canseco and the neon-plastic wraparound era embodied thereby. Donaldson inevitably removed his cap and flipped back that hair of his—a cut last seen gracing yearbook photos atop Vuarnet T-shirts and Nike Airs. That’s when it hit you plain: Donaldson is a throwback, but not in the usual baseball sense of Pete Rose’s dirty uniform—or not only of that variety—but in a somewhat more modern sense. He’s possessed not just of that hard-nosed, vaguely dirtbaggy air, but also of a flash and zip, an MTV-ness that Rose and our other rote callback characters never had the chance to acquire. Donaldson is the intersection of Brooks Robinson and Brian Bosworth.
— “Josh Donaldon’s Leap,” for VICE Sports Canada