In huge Major League Baseball news, The Reds, White Sox and Dodgers made a blockbuster three-way trade on Wednesday. Cincinnati sent Todd Frazier to the White Sox; Micah Johnson, Frankie Montas and Trayce Thompson to the Dodgers. The Reds got Brandon Dixon, Jose Peraza, Scott Schebler in return. The most notable of all of those names to sports fans, other than Frazier’s, is Thompson’s.
Filled to the brim with family pedigree in athletics, Trayce Thompson has a brother, Klay, and a father, Mychal, who both played in the National Basketball Association and won NBA titles. Klay is still hooping at a high-level for the Warriors. While still young at just 24 years old, Trayce has already gotten some baseball minds excited for what his potential and talent can bring to the game.
Here is what you need to know about the new young Dodgers outfielder:
1. Trayce Thompson Is the Younger Brother of NBA Superstar Klay Thompson
Trayce’s brother, Klay Thompson, is fresh off of an NBA Championship and best start to a season in NBA history with the Golden State Warriors. Along with being brothers, fostering a natural competitive spirit in itself, the two are professional athletes. They are, and according to Trayce, always have been super competitive.
“Me and Klay were so close in age, we’d play one-on-one in Wiffle ball, basketball, some football. Klay and I were so competitive.”
Trayce’s father, Mychal, also played for the Portland Trailblazers and Los Angeles Lakers in the 1980s and 1990s, winning two NBA titles as a center for the Lakers in the late ’80s.
2. Thompson Debuted For the White Sox Last Season
Trayce Thompson was called up by the White Sox from Charlotte of the International League and played his first game on Aug. 4, 2015. Thompson went on to play 44 games for Chicago at the big league level over the last two months of the season, recording 36 hits in 122 at-bats, good for .295 average in his first cup of coffee. Thompson also hit five home runs to go along with 16 RBIs with the big league club.
While those numbers sound like ones you might expect from a collected Major League veteran, brother Klay was impressed with Trayce’s poise:
“It was awesome seeing him in that huge stadium playing the outfield in front of all those people. It was almost surreal,” Klay said. “I know how hard he works. The minor leagues are no joke. I respect baseball players and what they do to get there.”
3. He Is so Competitive He Called 2015 His ’Put Up Or Shut Up’ Season
After proving to himself that he can cut it at the Major League level, Thompson is determined to improve his game even further. The motivation is so strong, that his manager in Chicago, Robin Ventura, commented that he was confident Thompson would do whatever it would take to stay in shape, and stay playing at a high level in the Major Leagues.
Thompson had teammates and coaches alike clamoring for him to be in the lineup every day as the 2015 season drew to a close. Such declarations had motivated Thompson to get more than just a taste of life in the big leagues:
“I thought last offseason was probably the biggest of my career as far as time to put up or shut up,” Thompson said, “but these past two months have validated to me that I can play up here, and this offseason I’m going to get after it like I’ve never worked.
4. He Got the Silent Treatment After His First Home Run
Trayce Thompson hit his first Major League home run on Aug. 11, 2015, against the Los Angeles Angels. Thompson’s homer came in the bottom of the fifth inning, when he cranked a solo shot to center field off of Hector Santiago to give the White Sox a 3–0 lead. His teammates then gave the rookie the silent treatment upon his return to the dugout.
The Chicago announcers called the blast “the first of many.” The team must have thought so, too; Thompson walked into the dugout slapping imaginary high-fives with teammates situated on either side of him before they all eventually rushed towards him to celebrate the feat.
5. He Is Pre-Arbitration Eligible
Since Thompson has so little time up at the Major League level, he had potential to really be a bargain to all teams in 2016. After making $171,939 in 2015, Trayce Thompson is pre-arbitration eligible in 2016.
According to Hardballtimes.com, “teams get a ridiculous amount of value from pre-arbirtration players who, because they have less than three years of Major League service, are eligible for the league minimum salary ($480,000).”
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