Today we look at former St John’s star Michael Donadio who hails from Mount Sinai NY, located on the North Shore of Long Island. Michael was a star athlete at Mount Sinai HS in both football and baseball. The two time captain earned All County honors three times and All State honors twice during his high school baseball career. Donadio hit .500 his senior year with an OBP of .592.
He was also a four-time letter winner in football, taking after his father, Joe who played quarterback at Hofstra. Michael’s twin brother Mark was also a standout athlete at Mount Sinai and played collegiate baseball at Fordham. From Mount Sinai HS, Michael’s baseball career took him 53 miles down the road to Queens NY and Big East power, St John’s University.
As a freshman, Donadio hit the ground running for the Red Storm in 2014. He started in 53 games, hitting .328, which included seven doubles, four triples, five home runs and 45 RBI’s. Not bad for the 6’0”, 190 lbs 19 year old outfielder. Donadio’s performance earned him Collegiate Baseball Freshman All-American, Big East Rookie of the Year and a First Team All Big East selection.
Well it turns out that Donadio was just getting warmed up with his baseball career at St. John’s. By the time his senior year ended in 2017, Donadio was second all time in hits for the Red Storm. His 4-year slash line was an impressive .323/.433/.463 over 211 games played including hitting .374 his senior year. He was also solid defensively, recording 402 putouts, 11 assists and a .976 fielding percentage in 4 years. Michael’s next stop was 1,203 miles south on I-95 to Jupiter, Florida and the Miami Marlins.
On Wednesday, June 14th, 2017, player ID number 185296, Michael Donadio was drafted by the Miami Marlins in the 30th round, 899th overall and reported to the GCL Marlins. Thirteen days later Donadio played in his first professional baseball game for the GCL club. He went hit less with five plate appearances, but drew a walk and scored a run.
Donadio steadily improved throughout the summer in Jupiter hitting .302 in August with an OPS of .901 and hitting his first home run. By the end of the season, Donadio’s slash line was .278/.407/.392 over 31 games and 97 at bats. He was also flawless defensively with a fielding percentage of 1.000 in the outfield.
Michael took some time out to answer a few questions for Fish Stripes.
Fish Stripes: In doing some research for this article I see that the Donadio family has some pretty good athletes. What was it like getting the chance to play baseball for 4 years with your twin brother Mark?
Michael: Yes I am very lucky to come from an athletic family and to have a twin brother who I played baseball with all my life. We are super close and always supported each other throughout our lives.
Fish Stripes: You played 4 years at St. John’s University under Head Coach, Ed Blankmeyer, the winningest coach in St John’s history. Can you tell me about playing for Coach Blankmeyer and your collegiate baseball experience overall?
Michael: I had an amazing experience playing at St. John’s for Coach Blankmeyer. I learned a lot from him and the rest of the staff. My four years at St. John’s shaped me into the person and player I am today and I am extremely grateful.
Fish Stripes: You were drafted in the 30th round by the Marlins this past June. What was that experience like for you and your family?
Michael: It was an unforgettable experience and I’m happy I got to share it with my parents. It was a dream come true and I am very thankful for the Miami Marlins.
Michael: I’ve always liked both teams as a kid, but loved the Yankees more because of my grandfather. He is a huge fan.
Fish Stripes: You played for the GCL Marlins in your first year of professional baseball. What was the biggest adjustment for you coming from collegiate baseball to the professional ranks and what are your goals for 2018?
Michael: Besides playing in the extremely hot weather, the biggest adjustment from college to the professional level was getting accustomed to the increased velocities. My goals for 2018 are hitting for more power and stealing more bases to ultimately move up in the organization.
Fish Stripes: Who has had the biggest influence on you in your baseball career?
Michael: My father has had the biggest influence on my baseball career because he has supported me from a young age and I admire his hard work ethic.
Fish Stripes: Finally, I know there are worse places to start your professional baseball career than Jupiter Florida. What did you like to do there when you weren’t playing baseball?
Michael: I had a blast last summer in Jupiter. When I wasn’t playing baseball I was either at the beach or lounging by the pool.
Fish Stripes: Great, thanks Michael, I appreciate you taking the time to speak with us today.
The Marlins got a steal grabbing Donadio in the 30th round. I would look to see his power numbers improve in 2018 as he matures and adopts to the increased velocity in the professional ranks. While Donadio may start off in Batavia I would imagine he, no doubt, will be in Greensboro before the end of the summer.