Last offseason the Los Angeles Dodgers were involved in a three-team trade with the Cincinnati Reds and Chicago White Sox in which Los Angeles acquired three prospects from the Chicago — second baseman Micah Johnson, right-handed pitcher Frankie Montas and outfield Trayce Thompson.
Montas has since been traded to the Oakland Athletics and Johnson spent much of the season with Triple-A Oklahoma City, leaving Thompson as the centerpiece of the deal for the Dodgers. Thompson, who played a handful of games with the White Sox in 2015, earned a spot on the Major League roster out of Spring Training.
The 25-year-old was included as a bench player, but as the season progressed and injuries set in, Thompson’s opportunities grew. He took advantage of them and essentially forced Dodgers manager Dave Roberts’ hand into making Thompson an everyday player.
However, Thompson’s hot hitting cooled off through June and into July, and he was said to be suffering from lower back irritation just before the All-Star Game. The Dodgers placed Thompson on the 15-day disabled list immediately after the midseason break.
That wound up spelling doom for the versatile outfielder as he never returned. Although there was a point where Thompson was advancing well in his recovery, he hit a plateau. A follow-up examination of Thompson’s back revealed multiple stress fractures.
In 80 games Thompson batted .225/.302/.436 with 13 home runs and 32 RBIs. During the month of May he hit .270/.352/.603 with six home runs and 14 RBIs.
Thompson had the biggest hit of his young career on May 10 against the New York Mets. With two outs and no one on in the bottom of the ninth inning of a 2-2 game, Thompson came up to pinch-hit for closer Kenley Jansen.
Thompson sent a 2-2 pitch from reliever Hansel Robles into the bleachers in left-center field for his first career walk-off home run. It was Thompson’s second homer in as many games.
Although he missed the entire second half with the back injury, Thompson is expected be 100 percent by Spring Training.
Even if they do not make any offseason acquisitions, the Dodgers already have a crowded outfield with Joc Pederson, Yasiel Puig, Andrew Toles and Andrew Ethier, as well as Thompson competing for starting spots.
Thompson may be more hard-pressed to earn his way into a starting role as he did this season. But, he just as well may form a platoon in left field with either Ethier or Toles.