Trayce Thompson

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Trayce Nikolas Thompson

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Biographical Information[edit]

Outfielder Trayce Thompson began playing in the Chicago White Sox system in 2009. He is the brother of NBA players Klay Thompson [1] and Mychel Thompson [2] and the son of NBA player Mychal Thompson [3].

He was drafted by the White Sox in the 2nd round (61st overall) of the 2009 amateur draft, one pick before Tommy Mendonca, two picks before Jason Kipnis, two picks after Nolan Arenado and a few picks after Billy Hamilton. He was Chicago's third pick, following Jared Mitchell and Josh Phegley. He was signed by scout George Kachigian for a bonus of $625,000.

In his first professional season, he hit .198/.265/.245 with no home runs, 3 stolen bases, 7 walks and 41 strikeouts in 32 games (106 at-bats) between the Bristol White Sox (.188/.247/.247 in 25 G) and Great Falls Voyagers (5 for 21, 3 BB). Despite his rocky start, Baseball America named him the #11 prospect in the Appalachian League, between Juri Perez and Tyler Ladendorf, and as the club's 6th-best prospect. He hit .229/.302/.433 with 8 home runs, 31 RBI, 6 steals and 69 strikeouts in 58 games for the Kannapolis Intimidators in 2010.

Despite his poor numbers the season before, Thompson was named the White Sox 9th-best prospect entering 2011 by Baseball America. With Kannapolis again that year, he hit .241/.329/.457 with 24 home runs, 87 RBI, 95 runs scored, 36 doubles, 8 steals and 172 strikeouts in 136 games. In the White Sox chain, he led in runs (four more than Ian Gac), 4th in doubles (behind Dan Black, Juan Silverio and Jim Gallagher), third in home runs (after Gac and Stefan Gartrell), 5th in RBI (between Wilkins and Silverio), 3rd in walks (two behind Gallagher, one behind Christian Marrero), second in strikeouts (11 behind Mitchell) and 4th in total bases (237, between Wilkins and Gartrell). He tied Keon Broxton for fifth in minor league baseball in whiffs. He led the South Atlantic League in runs (8 ahead of Marcell Ozuna), tied Ryan Fisher for 4th in doubles, third in home runs (behind Corey Dickerson and Mark Canha), tied Dickerson and Adam Duvall for third in dingers (behind Black and Kyle Parker) and led in times fanned (20 ahead of #2 Brenden Webb). He played in the South Atlantic League All-Star Game and was also dubbed a Organization All-Star after the campaign. Baseball America named him the SAL's #15 prospect, between Gary Sanchez and Bryce Brentz.

Going into 2012, he was the club's 4th-best prospect as well as their best power hitter prospect, according to Baseball America. He hit .253/.328/.482 with 25 home runs, 96 RBI, 88 runs scored, 21 stolen bases and 166 strikeouts in 136 games split between the Winston-Salem Dash, Birmingham Barons (.280/.379/.520 in 14 G) and Triple-A Charlotte Knights. In his first taste of Triple-A action, he hit .167/.250/.278 in 18 at-bats. Due to his performance with Winston-Salem (116 G, 22 HR, 90 RBI, 18 SB to 3 CS), he was named a Carolina League Postseason All-Star. The other outfielders picked were Jackie Bradley Jr. and Michael Earley. Once again, named him an Organization All-Star. He was second to Brady Shoemaker in the White Sox chain in runs, tied Marcus Semien for second in doubles (31, 4 behind Shoemaker), was second to Dan Johnson in home runs (3 shy), was second in whiffs (13 behind Mitchell), tied Mitchell for 7th in steals and led in total bases (249, 8 ahead of Black). In the Carolina League, he was 4th in runs (77, between Semien and Michael Earley), tied Aaron Baker for the most home runs, led in RBI (two over Black), was second in total bases (241, 23 behind Black) and was second in strikeouts (144, 21 behind Brett Eibner). Baseball America picked him as the best power prospect in the Carolina League and the #18 overall prospect, between Christian Vazquez and Ronny Rodriguez.

Named Chicago's 2nd-best prospect for 2013 (behind only Courtney Hawkins), Thompson hit .229/.321/.383 with 15 home runs, 78 runs, 73 RBI, 25 stolen bases in 33 tries and 139 strikeouts in 135 games for Kannapolis. He had 13 outfield assists and 7 errors. He made the Southern League's Mid-Season All-Star Game that year. He was 6 for 20 with 6 RBI and a homer in the postseason. He was 5th in the White Sox chain in runs (between Joey DeMichele and Keenyn Walker), tied Phegley for 7th in homers, was 5th in steals, tied Kevan Smith for 6th in RBI, ranked 5th in walks (between DiMichele and Steven Tolleson), was third in whiffs (behind Hawkins and Walker) and tied Chris Curley and Tolleson for the most sacrifice flies (8). In the SL, he tied Matt Szczur for third in runs, tied for 10th in home runs, was 4th in RBI (behind Jason Rogers, Black and Nick Evans) and was third in Ks (after Walker and Brock Kjeldgaard). He was just 1 for 22 with two walks and 7 whiffs for the Tiburones de La Guaira in the Venezuelan Winter League. Entering 2014, he was Chicago's 5th-best prospect per and their 8th best prospect, best athlete and best power prospect according to Baseball America.

Trayce spent 2014 in the Southern League, with the Birmingham Barons. In 133 games, he hit .237/.324/.419, with 123 hits, 34 doubles, 16 homers, 86 runs scored and 59 RBIs. He was successful on 20 of 25 steal attempts, but strikeouts remained a problem, with 151. In 2015, he continued his slow bus steady progression up the organizational ladder, being assigned to the AAA Charlotte Knights, with whom he had played briefly back in 2012. In 104 games, he was hitting .260 - his best batting average since turning pro, except for a brief stay with Birmingham in 2012 - with 23 doubles, 13 homers and 39 RBIs. He had also managed to cut down his strikeouts, with 79. On August 4th, the White Sox called him up to the Show and he made his debut as a pinch-hitter for Adam Eaton in the 7th inning of a game against the Tampa Bay Rays. He struck out against Chris Archer, then completed the game in centerfield as the White Sox lost, 11-3. He hit his first career homer on August 11th against Hector Santiago of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, a solo shot in a 3-0 win. He hit .295 with 5 homers and 16 RBIs in 44 games for Chicago. On December 16th, he was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers alongside Micah Johnson and Frankie Montas in return for Todd Frazier, who had been acquired by the Dodgers from the Cincinnati Reds earlier in the day.

He ended playing more than anyone would have expected for the Dodgers in the first half of 2016, as he took advantage of injuries to play 80 games before the All-Star break, during which he hit .225 but with 11 doubles and 13 homers while splitting his time almost equally among the three outfield positions. On July 16th, however, he was placed on the disabled list with a lower back irritation and did not play in the majors again that year. In 2017, he played just 27 games in the majors, hitting only .122 with 1 homer and 2 RBIs. He spent the bulk of the year in AAA with the Oklahoma City Dodgers, where he hit just .212 in 95 games, with 9 homers and 33 RBIs. He did not see any action in the postseason in either of his season with the Dodgers. On April 3, 2018, the New York Yankees claimed him off waivers, as they were badly in need of healthy outfielders following a rash of injuries at the position. However, his stay with the Yankees only lasted two days, as he was placed on waivers again, only to be claimed by the Oakland Athletics who immediately added him to their 25-man roster. He went 1 for 7 in 3 games, then on April 19th moved to his fourth team in less than a month when he was traded to the Chicago White Sox in return for future considerations.

He was in the majors for 48 games with the White Sox in 2018 along with 46 games for their minor league affiliate, the Charlotte Knights. The White Sox released him in November, and he signed with the Cleveland Indians. He was in 89 games with the Columbus Clippers of their organization, all in the minors. In August, he was released by the Indians. He was a non-roster invitee to the Arizona Diamondbacks spring training camp in 2020, hitting real well (.346/.452/.923) until the coronavirus postponed the remainder of the spring training season.

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