Dodgers’ Trace Thompson gets another shot at MLB dream

The minor league baseball schedule provided a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Tracee Thompson to celebrate his brother Clay. Fourth NBA title in Boston Thursday. Five days later, Trayce Thompson is celebrating a special moment of his own. He’s back in the big leagues.

Thompson joined Los Angeles Dodgers In Cincinnati on Tuesday after Detroit Tigers traded it on Monday for monetary considerations. With star Mocky Bates He was out of action for several weeks With the injury, Thompson could platoon in the right field alongside Eddie Alvarez.

This promotion marks Thompson’s third stint in the Major League in four chaotic seasons. Since 2018, Thompson, who previously played for the Dodgers from 2016 to 2017, has been hired five times, given free agency three times, demanded waivers and traded twice and then been released once.

This season, Thompson, who played six games for the team San Diego Padres In April and May, it hit a combined .305/.365/.721 with 17 homers in 170 plate appearances at Triple A.

“I spent two years there, and I’m not at all ashamed of this…I was the worst player in baseball, in my opinion,” Thompson said. “Sure, I was just as talented as everyone else. But this game isn’t about talent, it’s about performance at a major league level.

“But I’m glad it happened because I needed to know who I would be. Adversity kind of defines you. It makes you break down or defines you.”

Thompson, 31, has faced plenty of challenges in his 13-year career. .’s youngest son Los Angeles Lakers The brilliant Mychal Thompson, Trayce Thompson’s early performances in the minor league never matched the hype he got in the second round (2009). He spent more than six seasons in the palace before reaching the majors.


Trayce Thompson previously played for the Dodgers for parts of two seasons before being assigned the job. (Chris Williams/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

But once he arrived, Thompson thrived. He hit for power and played a solid defense in all three positions off the field white socks In a good 2015 debut season, the Dodgers loved Thompson, who grew up in Orange County, enough to request that he be included in the three-team deal that brought Todd Frazier to the White Sox from Cincinnati Reds. Thompson continued to play well for the Dodgers, packing 13 homers and playing good defense for a team with world championship ambitions, until he fractured two vertebrae in his lower back in July 2016 and missed the rest of the season.

Although Thompson’s back was healthy by the 2017 season, he struggled to strike. Bad habits formed by initially playing through injury significantly reduced offensive performance. He appeared in 27 games for the Dodgers but spent most of the season in Triple A. The following year, Thompson was assigned the task at the end of spring training, which led to a chaotic period in his career.

The Yankees He claimed it on April 3 and relinquished it almost immediately. Auckland He then claimed to have played three games for A before becoming a DFA and being traded to the White Sox. Playing in 48 games for the White Sox, he was DFA in late June and spent the rest of the season at Triple A.

“When you play for a team like the Dodgers, it’s time to be productive,” Thompson said. “They need players to play well.

“It would be different if I was limited or wasn’t really the same type of athlete. But physically I felt great. It was really frustrating, especially in the middle of the season, not knowing what was going on and throwing you into the big slam fire. … It was a lot to deal with. With him. It’s been a very low year for me personally.”


Excited to prove he can still stay, Thompson said he’s focused more than ever in 2019. He had a solid season at Triple-A Columbus, racking up 24 players, but never had a chance with Cleveland It was released on August 1.

Thompson signed with Diamondbacks In 2020 he was in the middle of his best spring training when the pandemic broke out. He spent the entire season at the alternate location.

The Cubs He got it from Arizona State in May 2021 and had a great season at Triple-A Iowa. After two defensive players were injured, Thompson was promoted in September. He hit four house hurdles with a 1,114 OPS in 35 board appearances. Performance only enhanced Thomson’s design.

“It’s been a really good year for me and has kind of shown me that I can still do it,” Thompson said. “I am happy that I am where I am now. I don’t think I would be in this place now if I hadn’t spent those few years.”

However, there were more challenges ahead.

He signed with San Diego after the lockdown ended and immediately produced at Triple-A El Paso, which earned him a promotion in late April when Will Myers was injured. But his experience lasted six games and he was in the DFA again.

“I had a lot of sense of urgency, and I probably tried to do too much,” Thompson said. “But that’s on me….I feel like I’m eventually going to get in a groove there, but that’s what it is.”

If only he knew what it would lead to.


Thompson signed a minor league contract with Detroit on May 19, the day after his brother scored 15 points and was plus 20 in 34 minutes against Dallas Mavericks In the game 1 win NBAWestern Conference Finals.

One of the quirks in the post-pandemic minor league table is for teams to play a series of six games each week from Tuesday through Sunday. As a result, Thompson rarely checks the schedule more than a few days ahead of schedule.

When he received his next itinerary on the road on June 9, Thompson noticed Toledo playing its next series at Triple-A Worcester, on the road from Boston. He soon realized if the NBA Finals had been this long – the Boston Celtics He was ahead in the series 2-1 – Game 6 will take place in Boston.

after, after Golden StateGame 4’s win at TD Garden on June 10, Trayce felt like he’d be partying with his family the following Thursday. Clay is not only part of the organization, but their older brother, Mychel, became a coach earlier in the year.

A week later, Tries reached a quick 10-4 Toledo win over Worcester. After the match, he raced to his hotel to collect his belongings before taking a 45-minute ride with an Uber to Boston for party night.

“Everyone wants to be in person as opposed to on the phone, FaceTime, or Skyping,” Mychal Thompson said. “Anytime you can find a way to get there physically… which makes it so special.

“It was perfect timing.”

The Thompsons family is a close-knit family that has celebrated each other’s success over the years.


The Thompson brothers, Mychel, Klay and Trayce, pose for a photo after last Thursday’s game. (Courtesy of Trayce Thompson)

Trayce was fortunate enough to attend Klay’s return to the NBA on January 9 after 941 days between games, a “very emotional night” he found satisfying. But last week was the first time that Tries had the chance to attend one of his brother’s championship celebrations. He’s always done what he wants and a constant baseball calendar hasn’t given him a chance to be there.

“I was talking to my uncle about it. I knew they were going to win Game Six,” said Treys Thompson. “For me personally and being selfish, I haven’t experienced any of the NBA moments. To line up all this stuff, it felt like it was meant to be.

“It was a long night, but it was one of the best nights of my life.”

It probably meant more because Trayce was celebrating his older brother’s first title after the lengthy mental and physical grind that kept Clay out of action for nearly three years. While he was on his way back from a torn ACL that ended his career in the 2019 Finals, Klay Thompson He tore his Achilles tendon in November 2020. Trayce remembers driving from Irvine, California, to the Bay Area that night to support the brother who had always thought he was Iron Man, unsure of what he would say.

Nobody knows what to expect when he returns. Clay, of course, was second to Golden State as he played 230 minutes in the NBA Finals and averaged 19 points per game in the postseason.

“I learned a lot just by watching it,” said Tracee Thompson. “Seeing him go after her day in and day out… I was so proud and happy for him.”

Now, it’s Trace’s turn.

On Monday, the Dodgers traded for Thompson, who had an upcoming clause on withdrawing in a minor league deal with Detroit.

He’s not sure how long he’ll be there, but Thompson is confident he belongs in the big business. He loves his newfound view of the game and understands why the cliché – controlling what you can control – is so important. His mental approach is different and many swing adjustments over the years make him better prepared to take damage from fast, high balls.

But he is not sure how long he wants to continue pursuing the dream and comes to terms with the fact that he is 31 years old in Triple A. At the moment, he thinks he can produce for a winner and that is enough to keep him.

“The battery is very charged,” Thompson said. “I am so excited to prove myself in the major leagues. I feel I am in a good position both physically and mentally to do so. But at the same time, I don’t play this game to play Triple-A baseball. I love the game, don’t get me wrong. But sometimes I don’t like you The game again. When you’re 31 in Triple A you can see that sometimes. As long as this opportunity is within my reach and I can knock on the door and control my destiny, as I did earlier this season with San Diego, I’ll bet on Myself.

“It all ends at some point, but I want to make sure I can look myself in the mirror and say I’ve done everything I can.”

After the Warriors’ Championship Parade wrapped up on Monday, Michal Thompson flipped into the Toledo game to see Trice play. He was shocked to see that his son wasn’t in the squad and texted to find out why only to discover Trayce was packing up his apartment after a trade.

Mychal Thompson is confident Trayce will exhaust every ounce of energy to make his dream come true. He appreciates the determination Trayce has shown through thick and thin.

Mychal Thompson, a big Dodgers fan, said his son’s comeback is “a dream come true.” He also indicated that it might lead to another family celebration in November.

“His perseverance, mental toughness and belief – continuing to believe in himself and setting goals to get into majors and survive,” he said. “He has a great work ethic and believes in himself and will not give up.

“You couldn’t ask for anything better than this, to play here in Los Angeles for a great team like the Dodgers, who have a chance of making it to the series. Who knows? If Trayce can stay around, maybe we’ll go to another show.”

(Photo: Matt York/The Associated Press)

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