Trayce Thompson (OF)
Mar 10, 2014; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Chicago White Sox center fielder Trayce Thompson (75) swings against the Milwaukee Brewers during a spring training game at Maryvale Baseball Park. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Trayce Thompson is probably one of the more recognizable names on this list because he does check in at #14 on MLBPipeline.com’s rankings of the top 20 organizational prospects.
For those of you who know Thompson, it probably feels like the 23-year old as been in the organization forever. That’s because he has, as this will be the outfielder’s seventh season with the club.
Thompson is a former second round draft pick from 2009, and has shown a nice blend of speed and power throughout his minor league career.
In 2014, Thompson posted a .237 average with 16 home runs, 20 stolen bases, and an additional 40 extra base hits that didn’t leave the yard while with Double-A Birmingham. MLB Pipeline at least notes his potential, saying this of Thompson:
"Thompson strikes out too much to hit for a high average, but he is capable of contributing in all of the other phases of the game. Thompson’s quick bat and long levers give him above-average raw power. He runs well for a big man, and he has an average arm, which allows him to play all three outfield positions."
That profile sounds like the perfect piece to complete Chicago’s roster. Thompson can supply major-league caliber defense at all outfield positions now and could offer some right-handed power off the bench.
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While J.B. Shuck probably has the edge on anyone in camp for the final roster spot, I think Thompson will be his greatest challenger. It is really a matter of how the White Sox envision him long-term.
Thompson will look to make a splash this spring
While Thompson could potentially see time in Triple-A and develop into a feasible regular, the White Sox outfield is as crowded for the foreseeable future as the U.S. Cellular stands hopefully will be. The more ideal fit for Thompson may in fact be as a fourth outfielder.
When the White Sox acquired Jeff Samardzija from the Athletics, I was glad to see that Thompson wasn’t a part of the package because I think he’s an athletic player who deserves to see the big league field at some point in his career.
At the moment, his brother Klay Thompson is excelling in the NBA as a member of the Splash Brothers duo, and this spring, Thompson will look to make a splash of his own.
Next: Under the Radar: Tyler Saladino