Phillies infield prospect Adrian Cardenas laughed as he recalled booting the first ball hit his way in a Grapefruit League game, at Progress Energy Park in St. Petersburg. While Sunday's game wasn't Phillies infield prospect Jason Donald's first appearance in a Major League exhibition, it will be the one he refers to when describing highlights from his first experience with the big boys.Wearing No. 90, the third-highest jersey number in Dunedin, Fla., Donald pounded two three-run home runs in a 15-7 rout of Toronto at Knology Park, giving the 2006 second-round pick his moment.
Donald said he relished such a comparison to the former Astros second baseman, who concluded a 20-year career in 2007 with 3,060 hits and a likely ticket to the Hall of Fame."The first time [Manuel] called me Biggio, I thought he just didn't know my name," Donald said. "I'll take that comparison. Craig Biggio was a great player. He'll probably be in the Hall of Fame one day. If I could be half of him, that would be pretty great." Donald's next challenge is to have more people in the organization remember his name, and that's happening quickly. He hit a combined .304 with 12 homers, 31 doubles, eight triples and 71 RBIs at Class A Lakewood and Class A Clearwater, and is ticketed for Double-A Reading. His future with the Phillies, though still at least two years away, could be daunting with Chase Utley and Rollins entrenched in the middle infield -- not that he's thinking about that. "They're two unbelievable players, and probably the two best guys at their respective positions," Donald said. "I've always said if I can just take care of what I need to do, everything will take care of itself. I like being in the Phillies' organization. It's honestly something I try not to think about. I hope I made a good impression on the brass and on Charlie." He's probably right.
Ken Mandel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.