Trayce Thompson: Coming to D-backs a full circle experience
Trayce Thompson’s career has sent him all over the country, from Connecticut to the Arizona Diamondbacks with plenty of stops in between.
The 29-year-old outfielder’s time in baseball has kept him on his toes since he was drafted by the Chicago White Sox in 2009. Thompson has played for 16 different minor and major league teams over his 11-year career, but his unorthodox path has prepared him to be a mentor for younger players trying to earn their spot in the big leagues.
“When I was coming up it was kind of known that you just have to work your way up,” Thompson told Arizona Sports’ Doug & Wolf on Thursday. “That was the standard, and guys move quickly. I had a few setbacks, I got hurt my first year and guys definitely move quickly when I was coming up. You have to love it to endure through the minor leagues.”
Thompson feels his career has come full-circle, from his time in Chicago to Arizona. Thompson played with prospect Alek Thomas at the D-backs alternate site last year. Thomas is the son of White Sox strength and conditioning coach Allen Thomas.
“Being at the alternate site last year I got the chance to play with Alek, and Alek’s dad was my strength coach with the White Sox,” Thompson said. “I’ve known Alek since he was 12 years old. So it was a full-circle moment for me.”
Thompson also credits his mentors in Chicago for helping him develop into a leader and voice of knowledge.
“Jose Abreu helped me a ton. It was only his second year when I first got there, but This guy went about his work as professional as you can get,” Thompson said. “Adam Laroche was my locker mate, and Paul Konerko obviously set the standard.”
The grit and grind of reaching the major leagues isn’t new to Thompson. His biggest piece of advice to younger teammates involves staying consistent at the lower levels.
“Just because you have one good minor league season doesn’t mean you’re going to be a good big leaguer,” Thompson said. “You have to do it year in and year out.”