It's the second consecutive season Donaldson was chosen for the honor, which is "based on the passion, desire, and work ethic demonstrated both on and off the field".
One player from each of the 30 MLB teams was selected. One of the nominee's will be named the MLBAA's Heart and Hustle Award winner at the end of the season. Dustin Pedroia of the Boston Red Sox won the award last year.
Donaldson played college baseball at Auburn and was a first round pick of the Chicago Cubs in 2007. He was traded to Oakland a year later.
Donaldson started at third base for the American League in this month's All-Star Game.
"That (Heart and Hustle) award probably is tailor-made for him," Oakland manager Bob Melvin told MLB.com. "He does play with a lot of heart. He's dirty all the time -- hard-nosed player."