Two days after his family broke the news via social media, Trayce Thompson answered questions about his promotion in front of his stall in the White Sox clubhouse.
Even though he had known he’d join the White Sox on Monday since early on Saturday after J.B. Shuck went on the disabled list, Thompson was still trying to wrap his head around his first trip to the majors.
Thompson -- who hit .260/.304/.441 slash line with 13 homers at Triple-A Charlotte -- is comfortable but still trying to make sense as he became the fourth member of his family to play at the highest level in his sport.
Trayce’s father, Mychal, played for the Los Angeles Lakers, Portland Trail Blazers and San Antonio Spurs. His oldest brother, Mychel, played for the Cleveland Cavaliers, while Klay, a year older than Trayce, 24, won an NBA title with the Golden State Warriors in June.
“Getting the call, first, was more of a shock,” Thompson said. “I’ve been with the White Sox, I’ve been doing this for a long time. It’s not like I never thought it would happen, but I just try to keep my head down, not really pay attention to stuff I can’t control. It’s definitely surreal.”
Once they heard the news of the youngest Thompson’s promotion on Saturday, Mychel and Klay posted their joy via Instagram and Twitter, respectively. Thompson doesn’t have any social media accounts and learned later on his brothers shared the news.
“They’re probably the two worst people to get it out to because they have so many followers,” Thompson said.
[SHOP: Gear up, White Sox fans!]
Within several hours both had removed the posts. But with Shuck on the DL, it was clear the White Sox needed another outfielder and Thompson has played the best of anyone in their farm system. Back in spring training, Thompson, a second-round pick in 2009, said he hoped to tap back into the power that allowed him to hit 25 homers earlier in his pro career.
“I just got back to what makes me myself,” Thompson said. “When I was in A ball, I could do a lot of things, and I was hitting the fastball and I was doing my thing, helping the team in a lot of ways. I kind of got away from that in Double-A. Harold Baines and Jim Thome helped me in spring training, getting back on fastballs.
“I felt like I got away from hitting the fastball. I feel like I’m doing a better job of that this year. Being a little more aggressive has helped me with that, too.”
White Sox manager Robin Ventura intends to get Thompson into the lineup soon, though Avisail Garcia started Monday’s series opener against the Tampa Bay Rays. While he jokes it was a tough situation, the advance word has given Thompson’s entire family enough time to get to Chicago to see his debut.
“I’m just glad I’m here, and they’ll be here tonight, so it’s going to be fun,” Thompson said. “It’s great to be here, obviously, and I’m just trying to help the team win and do whatever I can.”