He talks a humble game in the clubhouse, but White Sox outfielder Trayce Thompson’s game on the field is even better.
Ever since he was called up in August, Thompson has been a hitting machine. In 24 games, he’s hitting .415 with a 1.182 OPS. He’s also tallied three home runs with 11 RBI.
In last night’s win over the Twins, White Sox manager Robin Ventura said Thompson’s leadoff double and hustle around the bases “ignited” the team in their seven-run inning. Thompson even came up later in that inning and notched his second hit of that frame, something he’s never done in his baseball career.
“I’ve never gotten two hits though,” Thompson said. “I always make one out and I’m usually the last out. I always try and psych myself up, ‘Okay, you can do this.’ But it’s just nice to help the team and contribute.”
Thompson, who was the 14th rated prospect in the White Sox organization according to MLBPipeline.com, has flashed some power in the minor leagues (29 in two seasons between Double-A and Triple-A) and during his short time in the majors. Power is something the South Siders desperately need next season with Adam Eaton, a leadoff hitter not known for his power, second on the team in home runs with 13.
He’s also put to rest any concerns about hitting right-handed pitching, boasting a .474 average. Most importantly, however, he’s hitting .412 with runners in scoring position.
The final weeks of the season create a difficult task for Ventura, who wants to get at-bats for all of the White Sox outfielders. It’s a difficult balance for every manager this time of the year but he wants to make sure his veterans and rookies know that the lineup will be changing a lot in the final games.
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“You want to be able to keep guys fresh, have a little bit of consistency,” Ventura said. “But they have to know that it’s going to juggle around.”
Thompson may get a few extra days in the lineup he wouldn’t have normally had with Avisail Garcia out for a couple of days with a back injury. While he obviously doesn’t wish any kind of an injury on one of his teammates, Thompson wants to always be prepared for any opportunity Ventura gives him.
“I just got to stay ready whenever my name is called and my name’s in the lineup,” Thompson said. “I don’t want guys to get hurt by any means. Avi makes us a better team. He’s an amazing player, an amazing talent. We need him to win. Hopefully he can get healthy and hopefully he’s in there tomorrow. We’ll see. I just got to be ready when my time’s called. That’s it. I’m not here to complain about playing time. I just have to stay ready.”