Donaldson spent a couple of days each week over the off-season studying film of Detroit's star in the batter's box, trying to pick up on something he could apply to his own hitting for Oakland.
Indeed, he learned a thing or two on the way to a breakout season.
These two third basemen will face off in the playoffs for the second straight October starting with Game 1 of the AL division series Friday night.
One is a household name, 2012 Triple Crown winner and widely considered the best hitter in baseball. The other is more anonymous up-and-comer whose spectacular September in his first full major league season earned him AL player of the month honours.