Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
Trayce Thompson has been another breakout star for the Los Angeles Dodgers since he was acquired from the Detroit Tigers for cash considerations and designated for assignment by the San Diego Padres earlier this season.
Although he was acquired as a depth piece, the 31-year-old outfielder is batting .265/.363/.525 with 12 home runs, a 152 wRC+ and .381 wOBA in 72 games for the Dodgers while cementing his spot on the postseason roster.
While he has fallen into a slump over the past few weeks, Thompson rebounded with hits in three consecutive games, including two on Sunday.
With roster spots and playing time questions still up in the air for the playoffs, the Dodgers’ final three games could help determine who will earn those spots when the National League Division Series begins on Oct. 11, but Thompson isn’t thinking about these games like that.
“I just go out like we got a game tomorrow,” Thompson said. “Just got to do what I can to prepare and be in a good spot to help the team win a game tomorrow. I don’t know, maybe I’m just naive because I haven’t really thought about any of those days in the coming weeks.
“But I just try to take care of today and now that today’s over, try to prepare for tomorrow.”
In his last stint with the Dodgers that began in 2016, Thompson looked like he would be a big part of the team’s future. However, his career was derailed a bit by injuries, which led to struggles on the field.
Thompson bounced around with multiple organizations over the past few years, and now having returned home, he is receiving regular at-bats and can focus more about his performance rather than where he might be playing next.
“Yeah, I mean I feel like the best guys, and guys do it so well here, you just focus on one pitch at a time,” Thompson said. “Try to win one pitch at a time. J.T. is probably the best I’ve been around at that. Obviously playing with Freddie this year, Freddie’s amazing at it. You just try not to do too much.
“I don’t think about anything else, I just try to be in the moment and go out there and compete and make the most of each opportunity I get, one pitch at a time. All that other stuff, that will take care of itself. If I go out there and trust my preparation and just go out there and compete, I know everything will take care of itself.”
Thompson is also set to be on a postseason roster for the first time in his career, but that still isn’t something he’s focused on with multiple games left to play in the regular season. “Like I said, I don’t think about it,” he said.
“I just try to go out there and play baseball. I know if I prepare and I believe in myself, I go out there with conviction, I know I can play. But I don’t really think about that. I’m on the team right now, we got a game tomorrow, so I’m going to prepare to help the team win tomorrow.”
Trayce Thompson has made impact on Dodgers
Thompson is only hitting .213 over his last 15 games, but he has still posted a .339 on-base percentage during that time and Dodgers manager Dave Roberts credited him for continuing to impact the team in a positive way despite his struggles.
“Obviously since he came up, he’s had some big hits for us and played great defense and performed very consistently,” Roberts said.
“So the last couple of weeks, I think it’s been a little dry for him. But he’s still taking walks when he needs to, and for him to get a couple of hits, I thought was really good. And he’s hit good pitching. And so his quality of at-bat isn’t going unnoticed.”
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