« Baseball 2010

Mike Donato


University of Massachusetts



Donato is not only one of the top performers on the field for the Minutemen, but also holds one of the team’s highest grade point averages. As a history major at UMass, Donato has excelled in the classroom, boasting a 3.41 GPA. He has been a member of the Dean’s List and is a part of Chi Alpha Sigma (National Collegiate Athlete Honor Society).


Donato’s “blue-collar” work ethic is present in all that he does. Though quiet in nature, Donato’s true ability to lead comes through his actions and is recognized and respected by his peers who elected him a team captain for the 2010 season. The UMass coaching staff praises him as a hard working person of high character and a great listener who never cuts corners and always gives a 100% effort in whatever he does, on the field and off. He is a self-motivated individual who aspires to be a teacher and desires to work in low-income communities such as the one he grew up in. Donato hopes to use his past experiences, coming from a like situation, to help children succeed, no matter how they define success. His goal is to help contribute to closing the achievement gap, in his words, “using education as a tool for success, rather than a burden that prohibits children from reaching their goals.”


Donato has a strong passion for giving back and has been involved in various endeavors to better the community since coming to UMass. He is volunteering at a local elementary school this semester as a teacher’s aide, working with 5th and 6th grade students in social studies as well as reading/language arts with children with special needs. He has also worked as a mover for the Trash to Treasures organization and participated in a National Walk to School Day visit as a part of a group from various UMass athletic teams. As the SAAC representative from the baseball team, Donato brought toys from the SAAC toy drive to children in Shriner’s Hospital in Springfield. Over the summer of 2008, Donato worked a community baseball camp in North Adams, Mass., as well.


After seeing regular playing time over his first two seasons at UMass, Donato took his success to a whole new level as a junior in 2009 after working hard over the previous summer, making adjustments to his swing, etc. In a talent-stocked Atlantic 10 Conference that saw a record number of players taken in the 2009 MLB draft, Donato was one of 12 players throughout the league’s 14 teams to earn an All-Atlantic 10 first team selection last season. He posted career highs in virtually every offensive category, including lifting his batting average nearly 100 points from 2008. A fixture in right field, Donato was one of just two Minutemen to play in all 53 games in 2009. He posted a .336 batting average and scored 36 runs, drove in 40 and belted 13 doubles, two triples and five home runs. He led the team in hits (73) and tied for 10th in the A-10, the sixth-most hits in a season in school history. In conference play, Donato batted .386, tied for ninth in the league, while ranking third in hits with 44. He totaled 21 multiple-hit games and six multi-RBI games last season as a junior, as well.