TRAYCE Nikolas THOMPSON
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Nickname:   N/A Position:   OF
Home: N/A Team:   DODGERS
Height: 6' 3" Bats:   R
Weight: 215 Throws:   R
DOB: 3/15/1991 Agent: Wasserman Sports Group (Lenny Strelitz)
Uniform #: N/A  
Birth City: Ladera Ranch, CA
Draft: White Sox #2 - 2009 - Out of high school (CA)
YR LEA TEAM SAL(K) G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO OBP SLG AVG
2009 PIO GREAT FALLS   7 21 2 5 0 0 0 0 1 0 3 8 .333 .238 .238
2009 APP BRISTOL   25 85 8 16 3 1 0 10 2 0 4 33 .247 .247 .188
2010 SAL KANNAPOLIS   58 210 28 48 13 3 8 31 6 4 21 69 .302 .433 .229
2011 SAL KANNAPOLIS   136 519 95 125 36 2 24 87 8 4 60 172 .329 .457 .241
2012 IL CHARLOTTE   6 18 1 3 2 0 0 0 1 0 2 6 .250 .278 .167
2012 SL BIRMINGHAM   14 50 10 14 1 1 3 6 2 0 8 16 .379 .520 .280
2012 CAR WINSTON-SALEM   116 449 77 114 28 5 22 90 18 3 45 144 .325 .486 .254
2013 SL BIRMINGHAM   135 507 78 116 23 5 15 73 25 8 60 139 .321 .383 .229
2014 SL BIRMINGHAM   133 518 86 123 34 6 16 59 20 5 65 151 .324 .419 .237
2015 IL CHARLOTTE   104 388 53 101 23 4 13 39 11 5 23 79 .304 .441 .260
2015 AL WHITE SOX   44 122 17 36 8 3 5 16 1 0 13 26 .363 .533 .295
2016 NL DODGERS $513.00 80 236 31 53 11 0 13 32 5 1 26 66 .302 .436 .225
2017 PCL OKLAHOMA CITY   95 339 44 72 12 6 9 33 3 5 26 93 .269 .363 .212
2017 NL DODGERS   27 49 6 6 2 1 1 2 0 0 6 23 .218 .265 .122
2018 IL CHARLOTTE   46 160 22 34 12 0 4 15 3 1 15 57 .278 .363 .213
2018 AL ATHLETICS   3 7 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 .143 .143 .143
2018 AL WHITE SOX   48 121 14 14 3 0 3 9 3 1 7 46 .163 .215 .116
2019 IL COLUMBUS   89 334 51 73 10 3 24 56 8 3 33 134 .294 .482 .219
2021 NL CUBS   15 28 6 7 1 0 4 9 2 0 7 11 .400 .714 .250
2021 TAE IOWA   88 305 48 71 14 1 21 63 3 1 45 116 .344 .492 .233
2021 TAW RENO   4 18 2 5 1 0 0 0 0 0 2 4 .350 .333 .278
Personal
  • Thompson is the son of Mychal Thompson, the former NBA star who played on several Los Angeles Lakers NBA championship clubs in the 1980s, and the bloodlines show.

    Two of Trayce’s older brothers played in Division I college basketball. In 2011, Mychel was at Pepperdine and Klay was at Washington State, then later the Golden State Warriors.

    And even though Trayce grew up with Clyde Drexler coming over from a few doors down to try to get Mychal off the couch and go to the gym with him, he still had baseball in his mind when he was out shooting with another friendly visitor, Uncle Chuck Barkley.

  • Trayce said, "I knew by the time I was six or seven that I wanted to be a baseball player." But it wasn't until after helping Rancho Santa Margarita to a California high school state title as a junior, though, that Thompson broke tradition and left basketball behind for good.

    "I wanted to devote all my attention to being a better baseball player," he said. "It was a decision I felt I needed to make."

  • Trayce was asked if he gets tired of people talking and asking him about his dad.

    "Oh, no, my Dad is a super-easy going guy. I don’t mind talking about my Dad because there’s so much funny stuff to talk about. He’s like the opposite of what you think a basketball Dad is. He never moves around the house. He just sits there. My Dad has his friends he played with and they still try to keep in shape.

    "One of my Dad’s good friends is Charles Barkley and he’s the most out of shape man I have ever seen. We grew up down the street from Clyde Drexler. I think he could still play today because he works out so much. My Dad likes to watch Roger Federer and Tiger Woods and just sit around the house," Trayce said.

  • In 2009, Thompson graduated from Santa Margarita High School and committed to a baseball scholarship from UCLA.

  • In 2009, The White Sox chose Thompson, out of Santa Margarita High School in California, as one of their compensation picks in the supplemental portion of the second round. Trayce and catcher Josh Phegley were the compensation for losing Orlando Cabrera. They signed Trayce for a bonus of $625,000 via scout Mike Baker. 

  • In 2010, the Baseball America Prospect Handbook rated Trayce as the 6th-best prospect in the white Sox organization. They had him at #9 in the spring of 2011. He was moved up to #4 in the offseason before 2012 spring camps opened.

    And they moved Thompson up to 2nd-best prospect in the White Sox organization in the spring of 2013. He was at #8 in the offseason before 2014 spring training, then at #18 a year later in 2015.

  • In 2011, Thompson topped the South Atlantic League in runs (95) while ranking third in homers (24) and extra-base hits (62). But his 172 strikeouts also led the league and were the fifth-highest total in the minors.

    In 2012, Trayce led the Carolina League in homers (22), extra-base hits (55) and RBIs (90).

  • Thompson is intense and competitive. He is a quiet leader. He works his butt off every day.  He is a graceful athlete.

  • Thompson's offseason workout partner and best friend is Nolan Arenado, who has taken over as the Colorado Rockies' third baseman as a rookie in 2013.

    "I'm really happy for him," Thompson said. "It makes you want to get up there too even more."

  • Jan 2015: Trayce's brother, Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson, went off with an NBA-record 37-point quarter, while on his way to 52 points in a home victory over the Sacramento Kings.

  • His famous father, Mychal Thompson, was the top pick in the 1978 NBA draft who went on to a 13-year career. His oldest brother, Mychel, also played in the NBA. His brother, Klay, is a standout for the Golden State Warriors. So Trayce knows he might be the object of hecklers anytime he takes the field. And he has no problem with it.

    Charlotte manager Joel Skinner understands that father-son dynamic. He's the son of former Major Leaguer Bob Skinner.

    "It's who you are and it's just how it is," Joel Skinner said. "I'm sure for Trayce it's an advantage [to have a famous father and brothers] from the standpoint of picking up the phone to talk to your dad or brother about life in the trenches, knowing they've gone through a lot of the same things.

    "There's nothing better than picking up the phone and talking to someone who understands what you're going through. In his case, it's a different sport, but it's still about how you carry yourself and how you go about your business."

    Trayce said he does not talk much to his brothers. "Whenever I talk [to one of them], we talk about their dog or about our other brother," he joked. But he said his father has been a source of inspiration.

    "With my dad, he talks about being positive. He knows what it's like to grind through a long season, so he talks about staying positive," he said. "My dad is one of the most positive people you will meet and he instills confidence in me. Every time we talk, he tells me how talented and how blessed I am." (MiLB.com writer John Wagner - 5/17/15)

  • Late on the night of June 16, 2015, Trayce video-chatted with his brother, Golden State shooting guard Klay Thompson, as his brother celebrated an NBA title in the locker room with his teammates and family.

    Thompson's brother helped the Warriors down LeBron James' Cleveland Cavaliers to win the 2015 NBA championship. Thompson's father, Mychal Thompson, played in the NBA, as did his other brother, Mychel.

    "It's been very surreal," Thompson said. "To see him last night, it was a surreal feeling."

    The entire Thompson family was at the basketball game, sans Trayce

    Then two nights later Trayce slugged a pair of home runs to lift the Triple-A Charlotte Knights to a 7-5 win over Pawtucket.

    It would be easy for Trayce to try to live up to his family's famous name with every at-bat and every play he makes in the field. But two factors prevent that situation from ever taking place.

    He is very comfortable in his own skin and with his own ability on the baseball field and Thompson has nothing but respect for the accomplished basketball side of his family in his dad, former NBA player Mychal, brother and current NBA champion, Klay, and brother, Mychel, who plays professionally in Italy.

    According to Thompson, they are really just a normal family featuring championship athletic accomplishments. "When we're together, we're just like any other family," Thompson said. "When we're together, my brother's dog is the center of the family. So it's been pretty fun.

    "We're just like any other family. We're just normal people, but we just happen to be very blessed to do what we love as jobs. It's been a blessing, and it's been a lot of fun."

    The youngest Thompson launched his first career homer, off friend and opponent Hector Santiago. Yet some headlines around the country referred to Thompson as "Klay's brother." It's a title Trayce is proud to wear.

    "I do my own thing, but people are going to refer to me as that until I make an All-Star team or until I win a championship," Trayce said. "It is what it is. It doesn't bother me.  To me, Klay is just my older brother. He's not a basketball player. He's just Klay to me, and Mikey's Mikey, and my dad's my dad, and my mom's my mom."

    Trayce's mom, Julie, just might be the best athlete of the whole family. She set California state records in track and was a Division I volleyball player at the University of San Francisco.

    "She's a really good athlete," Trayce said of his mom. "She doesn't want any of the attention. That's how she is. To try to get a picture of her, it's not going to happen. She stays in the shadows. We owe her a lot of credit, for sure." (Merkin - mlb.com - 8/12/15)

  • Trayce loves to play golf. "It's tough to do it during the season. I didn't play at all last season, and I feel like I had more success in baseball, and I'm superstitious, so I haven't played this season (2016). But in the offseason, I played a lot of golf."

    When did you start playing golf?

    "In my third offseason (2011-12). That's when the NBA lockout was happening, and so Klay was home and we played a lot of golf. And once he left, me and my buddy Nolan Arenado of the Rockies, we hit together in the offseason, so we were playing golf a lot. Now, in the offseason, we'll play two or three times a week."

    How about favorite TV shows?

    "I watch all the HBO shows like 'Game of Thrones,' 'Entourage,' 'Silicon Valley,' but by favorite is 'The Office.' I'll watch at least an episode a night," Thompson said.

    How about movies?

    "Me and Corey Seager, we watched the new 'Ninja Turtles' in Pittsburgh. I love to go to the movies. I really just like to go to the movies to eat popcorn."

    What's something people would be surprised to know about you?

    "I used to be kind of a chunky kid. Everyone looks at me now, and I'm kind of lanky and rangy, but when I was a kid, I was definitely on the stockier said. I kind of stretched out my sophomore year of high school," Trayce said. (Jon Weisman - Dodger Insider - Aug 2016)

  • April 7, 2018: When new A's outfielder Trayce Thompson gets back to the Bay Area, he expects a warm reception from his new roommate, he is just not sure it will be over-emotional. Younger brother Klay will open the door, Trayce will step inside and not much figures to be said. The Thompson brothers will be under one roof again, just like when they were kids.

    "I'm sure if you guys have talked to him before, he's not the biggest talker in the world," Trayce said of his NBA All-Star brother who will have started the run toward another NBA title with the Golden State Warriors. "That's how he is with us, too. He'll be excited, I'm sure, when I see him for the first time."

    Trayce Thompson joined the A's 7-3 win over the Angels at Angel Stadium, a few days after being claimed off waivers from the Yankees. Thompson was waived by the Dodgers a few days before Opening Day, then claimed by the Yankees, who tried to sneak him through waivers and assign him to Triple-A. The A's had a different idea.

    "I've been in this position before," Thompson said. "This game is funny and is definitely a roller-coaster of a game, especially for me the last few years, but I have been in this role before and I know what it takes." He likely will have to deliver quickly, otherwise his stay in Oakland might not even last as long as his brother's run in the NBA playoffs. To avoid thinking about the pressure, Thompson will let his new living arrangement take him back to simpler times.

    "This will be the first time I've stayed with [Klay], and my older brother, for an extended period of time since high school," Thompson said. "Klay going to basketball practice and me going to baseball. It will be interesting." (D Padilla - MLB.com - April 7, 2018)

  •  2021 Season: Thompson went 7-for-28 in his official at-bats, clubbing four home runs and a double. Per Baseball Savant, Thompson showed some signs of that power bat who could fit into a lineup nicely. He averaged an exit velocity of 92.3 mph and recorded a 58.5 percent hard-hit rate, and found the barrel 35 percent of the time.

    The 31-year-old came out of the woodwork in 2021 after having last seen time in the Majors back in 2018. In 28 at-bats, he posted a .400 on-base percentage and a .714 slugging percentage.  (Logan Whaley - March 8, 2022)

    TRANSACTIONS

  • June 2009: The White Sox chose Thompson in the second round, out of Santa Margarita High School in California.

  • December 16, 2015: The Reds sent Todd Frazier to the White Sox as part of a 3-team trade. The Dodgers received 2B Micah Johnson, RHP Frankie Montas and CF Thompson from the White Sox. And the Dodgers sent 2B Jose Peraza, LF Scott Schebler and 2B Brandon Dixon to the Reds.

  • April 3, 2018: The Yankees acquired Thompson off waivers from the Dodgers.

  • April 5, 2018:  The A's acquired Thompson off waivers from the Yankees.

  • April 17, 2018: The A's released Thompson.

  • April 19, 2018: The A's traded Trayce to the White Sox for cash.

  • Dec 1, 2018: The Indians organization signed free agent Thompson.

  • Feb. 3, 2020: The Diamondbacks signed Thompson to a minor league contract.

  • May 11, 2021: The Diamondbacks traded OF Trayce Thompson to the Cubs.

  • March 13, 2022: The Padres organization signed free agent Thompson.

  • May 14, 2022: Trace elected free agency.

  • May 19, 2022: The Tigers organization signed free agent Thompson.

  • June 20, 2022: The Tigers traded Trace to the Dodgers for cash considerations.
Batting
  • Trayce has terrific bat speed and good loft in his stroke, so expect his power numbers to increase every season for a while. He has enormous power potential.

    However, Thompson's swing was long on the back end—no surprise for someone who stands 6-foot-4. And his timing was affected by his habit of pulling out his front side too quickly. That was in 2011. So in 2012, he worked to shorten that long, uppercut swing and use the whole field. And he was awesome the second half of the 2012 season at Winston-Salem, earning a promotion to Birmingham and then the Charlotte Knights.

  • Thompson may lack the baseball instincts to rise to the Majors for any length of time. For example, he struggles to identify and hit good breaking pitches with his long swing, chasing many of them out of the zone. But he can catch up to good fastballs. And he can hit a bad breaking pitch out of the yard.

    But it is that lack of pitch recognition leads to his high strikeout numbers.

  • The key to Trayce's development will be improving his pitch recognition and cutting down on his strikeouts. He ranked 10th in the minors in 2012 with 166 whiffs after tying for fifth in 2011 with 172.

    But during the winter before 2015 spring training, Trayce worked with White Sox hitting coordinator Vance Law and former slugger Jim Thome.

    "Jim was talking about hitting during Spring Training, and it was just something so simple he said that resonated," Thompson said. "He said, 'Hunt those heaters. Hunt those fastballs.' The last couple of years, I haven't been hitting fastballs like I did early in my career and like I should."

    The conversation spilled over into Thompson's cage work with assistant hitting coach Harold Baines.

    "Harold talked about how I wasn't hitting the fastballs how I used to," Thompson said. "I focused on that. That's kind of what I took into the season, and it's paid off so far.

    "I'm staying aggressive, being more aggressive this year, especially early in the count. I'm attacking more fastballs (in 2015)."

  • Thompson is endeavoring to make more consistent contact at the plate. He has worked on shortening his swing and using all fields.

    "I don't necessarily think about trying to hit home runs at this point," Thompson said midway through the 2015 season. "Just put the sweet spot on the ball. It's funny, you watch Mike Stanton hit these home runs that go about 600 feet, but they count as much as the wall scrapers. It was just a good day. I'm never going to complain if I hit a far home run or hit one just off the back of the fence."

  • Trayce has not realized he can hit for power with a shorter swing. Thompson can blast tape-measure shots thanks to his leverage, strength and loft-oriented swing. He’s gotten better recognizing breaking balls, but still struggles with them.

    He doesn't get to his power because he flies open against soft stuff away.

    Thompson lacked a consistent approach at the plate, up until 2015, at least. That's when he started developing into a complete hitter, having added consistent offensive help to a glove that was always ahead of his bat.

  • There have been times during Trayce's Minor League career when the outfielder hit for power.  In fact, Thompson posted five seasons with more than 20 doubles and four with at least 15 home runs. But something appears to have clicked with Thompson's offensive approach during the 98 plate appearances since joining the White Sox in 2015.

    The rookie was hitting for power and for average, a combination that had previously eluded him as he climbed the organization's ranks. Thompson spoke about trying to backspin the ball during batting practice and in his cage work where the power surge is concerned, but this switch dates back to personal work leading into the 2015 campaign.

    "I know that a guy with my stature, I'm supposed to drive the ball," said Thompson. "So, that's one thing in the 2014 offseason I really worked on, making sure I was taking my hacks and not just going up there and try to feel for something. Make sure I can go up there, especially before two strikes, and let it fly. Sometimes, the bigger I get, I'll get jammed or something. That's not necessarily a good thing. I know if I take a small, short, simple swing, sometimes the results are bigger. At the same time, I try to make sure I don't get cheated up there."

    His power potential can be explored a little deeper this offseason through talks with his hitting partner and good friend, Nolan Arenado, who had many homers and RBIs in 2015.

    This productive stint with the White Sox certainly put Thompson into play for 2016, with his slick glove work already well-known. It also provides a boost for Thompson as he moves into his offseason regimen.

    "It's just kind of validating for me to know that I can do it up here," Thompson said. "It's also taught me that the game is still the same. This is the same game as it was when you were in A ball. My swing can get a lot shorter. I'm a longer-limbed guy and so I'm always going to have problems or issues making my swing as short as I can. But I've been up here and have had some success and I'm going to try to keep the ball rolling. I feel like this has kind of motivated me to work even harder."  (Merkin - mlb.com - 9/25/15)

  • Starting in July 2016, Trayce slogged through months of rehab for two stress fractures in his back—only to be assigned to Triple-A Oklahoma City.

    His manager Bill Haselman said the 26-year-old showed no signs of frustration.

    “He’s the first one into the clubhouse every day,” Haselman said. “He’s totally professional, and he’s been working real hard on his swing. If you didn’t know his batting average, you wouldn’t know (he opened the season in a deep slump). I think it comes down to finding an efficient swing that works for him.

    “I hope the younger guys on the team see it and learn from it," Haselman said.

    “It’s not good if you just look at those numbers,” Thompson said during the slump, “but I was working on some mechanical things with (Oklahoma City hitting coach) Shawn Wooten, and I did feel a lot better than those numbers indicated.

    “I’m a big guy and it takes some work to get everything in sync. It’s similar to last year. I didn’t really get going until a month or so into the season.”

Fielding
  • Trayce is athletic and displays a very strong arm—enough for right field.
  • Thompson has good intensity and has become a very good center fielder. He now gets a real good jump on the ball off the bat. His range is very good, in part because he has very good instincts.

    Trayce's arm is stronger than most center fielders. He covers a lot of ground out there, too. He has graceful, long strides.

  • He has become a more aggressive outfielder. His glove now may be better than his bat. He now exhibits good instincts out there.

    Thompson can fill a #4 outfielder role.

Running
  • Trayce has above-average speed. He steals some bases. 
Career Injury Report
  • May-Aug 2010: Thomspon was on the DL for nearly three months after a pitch shattered his right thumb.

  • July 16-Nov 7, 2016: The Dodgers placed Thompson on the DL with an unspecified lower back injury.