MINNEAPOLIS — Josh Donaldson sat at a podium Wednesday afternoon inside a packed press conference room, flanked by two of his new bosses — president of baseball operations Derek Falvey sat on one side of him, manager Rocco Baldelli on the other.

As the two Twins executives beamed beside him, Donaldson rattled off a list of why Minnesota had become such an attractive destination for him. The division sets up well, he said. The American League is a good fit for him. And then, a big one: personal success at Target Field.

There’s no denying it: Donaldson has spent years being a Twins-killer, and now, the Twins are thankful they won’t have to deal with that anymore.

In 43 career games against the Twins, Donaldson hit .395 with a .487 on-base percentage and .852 slugging percentage. His batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage and OPS are all higher against the Twins than any other team, and he hit 19 home runs and 17 doubles in those 43 games.

In 22 games in his new home park, the third baseman has a .373 batting average, .464 OBP and .819 slugging percentage with 10 home runs.

“If you’ve ever played golf, and I’m an avid golfer in the offseason, I think there are certain golf holes that set up to your eye,” Donaldson said. “For some reason, this stadium sets up well for me. Maybe it’s the background, or whatever its been, I’ve taken a liking to it. I’ve had some great experiences here and I’m looking forward to putting up more numbers here.”

Buxton progressing

Byron Buxton has been progressing well from the left shoulder surgery that ended his 2019 season early.

The speedy center fielder suffered the injury on Aug. 1 in Miami when he crashed into the wall while trying to make a catch. Efforts to come back were eventually shut down, and Buxton required a labrum repair.

“Buck’s been doing great. Buck’s been swinging, he’s been feeling good. He’s going to be locked in down in Fort Myers actively being looked at by our staff while he’s getting all of his work in,” Baldelli said Wednesday. “But his progression has gone really well. I think he feels great. Knowing him, he’s probably pushing it a little bit, even more than he should because he’s so eager. But the rehab process has gone well.”


The Twins have yet to announce the corresponding 40-man roster move for Donaldson, with Falvey saying Wednesday that they had yet to connect with the player. The Twins’ 15th annual Diamond Awards took place on Thursday night, with proceeds from the event going toward helping research and patient care for brain, nerve and muscle disorders at the University of Minnesota.