Doesn’t matter who he faces, Trayce Thompson continues to have success at the plate.
Given the chance to start against right-handed pitchers on consecutive days after he mostly was paired up versus lefties, the White Sox outfielder produced four hits in seven at-bats, including a homer, a walk and four RBIs.
Thompson — who has a .408/.453/.714 with three homers and 10 RBIs in 53 plate appearances — said he has noticed how pitchers have adjusted their plan of attack and he has done his best to keep pace. After Thompson homered in the second inning of Wednesday’s loss, Cleveland pitched him outside and he finally was able to execute in his last at-bat with an RBI single to right center.
“The biggest thing is just feeling out what they’re trying to do to you,” Thompson said. “Like my last at-bat, I know they’re trying to go away with most of the time, especially after my first at-bat. So my second and third at-bat I didn’t make the adjustment. I had to do it in my last one on that first pitch. There’s stuff every day that I’m still learning.”
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The White Sox have spent the past 5 1/2 weeks easing Thompson into life in the big leagues. They almost entirely played Thompson against left-handed pitchers (he only had 11 plate appearances against righties before Tuesday), which hasn’t gone over well on social media with fans clamoring for more playing time and media constantly asking about it.
The club has even continued the practice with right-handed pitchers as both Carlos Carrasco and Josh Tomlin are worse against righty hitters than lefties.
“Some of the previous games we’ve had they’ve been really tough on righties,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “A young guy, you’re getting him in there, he’s had a nice run against lefties and now you’re getting a look at him with righties, but you’re also trying to make it a positive thing for him. He’s going up there with a pretty good chance.”
Thompson feels like he’s in a pretty good spot to have success. Not only does he feel comfortable at this level — “it’s the same game,” Thompson said — but he’s confident. And he has a solid support system in place as well.
“I just gotta stay within myself,” Thompson said. “And I feel like I’ve done a good job of that. A lot of guys are helping me here. Everyone is making me feel comfortable. Harold Baines and Daryl Boston every day before the game in (batting practice) and stuff, I’m working with them. They’re making me feel good, and I’m getting a lot of help. It’s been real comfortable for me, and it’s been a lot of fun.”