Dodgers Should Find Larger Role For Dynamic Outfielder Trayce Thompson
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

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Trayce Thompson may have once been a long shot to make the Los Angeles Dodgers roster this season, but the question now is why isn’t he playing more? Lately, Thompson has found his stride, and at 6’3”, 210 pounds, he is hitting with power you’d expect from an outfielder his size.

On a team that tends to struggle to score runs, Thompson should be on the verge of earning more playing time. Thompson, who recently turned 25 years old, is somewhat of an outlier in a basketball family.

He’s the son of former basketball star (and current Los Angeles Lakers radio announcer) Mychal Thompson, and his older brother, Klay, is an NBA All-Star and prominent member of the defending champion Golden State Warriors.

Trayce played little league baseball with former UCLA Bruin and current Cleveland Cavaliers’ standout Kevin Love. Upon graduating from high school, Thompson decided to forego an opportunity to play baseball at UCLA when he was chosen in the second round of the 2009 MLB draft by the Chicago White Sox.

After the 2012 season, Thompson was ranked the White Sox’ No. 2 prospect. He played sparingly for Chicago in the seasons after, and was packaged in a trade to the Dodgers last December. Entering Spring Training, the team had a crowded outfield which Carl Crawford, Andre Ethier, Alex Guerrero, Joc Pederson, Yasiel Puig and Scott Van Slyke.

Plus, utility man Kiké Hernandez, and Alex Guerrero, who spent played 29 games in left field last season. Thompson shares a house with young teammates Corey Seager, Pederson, Ross Stripling and Alex Wood.

Like his housemates, and most every other young player in the Majors, Thompson is striving to establish an identity for himself. However, given the Dodgers’ crowded outfield, that’s been met with some hurdles.

Thompson has benefitted from injuries to Crawford, Ethier and Van Slyke, and he’s taken advantage of the opportunity created. After a slow start to the season, the 25-year-old Thompson leads the Dodgers in RBIs, runs scored and home runs since April 25.

CONTINUE READING: Why isn’t Thompson receiving more playing time?