After unexpectedly winding up back with the Los Angeles Dodgers and providing a spark last season, Trayce Thompson now appears poised to build on that and make an even greater impact in 2023.
Possessing a sure roster spot for the first time in his career, the 31-year-old California native is perhaps more important than ever before for the Dodgers.
With the departure of Cody Bellinger in free agency, and despite only playing in 74 games for L.A. last season, Thompson has emerged as a potential everyday starter in the outfield.
However, what his role will be has not been conveyed by the Dodgers front office, but Thompson also doesn’t believe that to be necessary.
“I just show up and I’m ready for whatever,” he said. “I’m ready to compete. It doesn’t matter what it is. I prepare every day the same, whether it’s during the season or offseason. I’m just ready to go.”
Playing in 80 games total between his time with the Dodgers and a short early-season stint with the San Diego Padres, Thompson hit a combined .256 across with 14 doubles, 13 home runs and 41 RBI, while also providing steady defense.
No longer feeling as though he’s fighting for a roster spot, Thompson heads into 2023 Spring Training much more at ease but largely still with the same mindset.
“I’ve always been motivated. If anything, I think I just have a little more of an opportunity from the start. I’ve always had to scratch and claw in Spring Training, and not that I won’t this year, but I think there’s a little more mental stability,” he said.
“I know I’m going to be on the team. I’ve never really had that in my career. But as far as motivation and stuff, that’s always been the same. I feel like I always have a chip on my shoulder, but I enjoy it. I’m just looking forward to getting going.”
Thompson participates in Dodgers Love L.A. Community Tour
Taking place in Inglewood on Thursday, Thompson joined SportsNet LA reporter Kirsten Watson in participating in day three of the 2023 Dodgers Love L.A. Community Tour.
In addition to highlighting African-American representation in Major League Baseball, Thompson offered advice and guidance to the attending middle school students.
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