Klay Thompson is one of the NBA’s most promising young stars. It’s to be expected because father, Mychal, was once the league’s top overall draft pick. Basketball runs through the family bloodline, and that’s why Trayce Thompson is such an interesting case.
Mychal Thompson is widely considered one of the best shooters in NBA history. Klay is an All-Star and current NBA champion. And older brother, Mychel, has also appeared on an NBA roster. Trayce Thompson didn’t follow in his dad or brother’s footsteps. Instead, he decided to take up baseball.
It’s certainly puzzling that someone growing up in such a basketball-minded family would choose to play another sport. But, that’s something you should admire about Trayce. He did things his way, and opted to play the sport he loved most, even if that didn’t mean immediate success.
Trayce is the youngest of the Thompson athletes at 24 years of age. He was taken with the 61st pick of the 2009 MLB Entry Draft by the Chicago White Sox. Other notable players taken after Thompson included Jason Kipnis (63rd), Steven Matz (72nd) and Patrick Corbin (80th).
While Thompson hasn’t had the success of the aforementioned 2009 second round picks, he has been a staple of the Chicago White SOX minor leagues for the last five years. That might not seem like the most opportune position for Trayce to be in, as many 2009 draft picks have already made an impact on their respective rosters.
However, Chicago didn’t give up on their young prospect, and Trayce didn’t give up on them.
He reached AAA ball during the 2012 season, but only hit .167 with 6 strikeouts in 18 at-bats. As a result of his poor plate discipline he was sent back down to AA. And didn’t reach the AAA level again until the 2015 campaign.
After showing a better approach at the plate this season, Thompson finally made the big league club. He has immense power in his swing, and will undoubtedly provide the White Sox with another homerun hitter. However, until he proves that he can consistently hit major league pitching his time in Chicago might be limited.
Sure, he there is a possibility he becomes an efficient player, but an All-Star?
That’s probably not going to happen. But I’ll bet nobody thought Trayce would still be fighting to make the MLB five seasons after he was drafted. It’s that grit and determination that have gotten him to the pinnacle of his sport, the same traits that made Klay an NBA Champion.
Mychal Thompson set the bar high for his children. Klay and Mychel both made the NBA, but will always live in the shadow of their father. On the other hand, Trayce is able to carve out his path away from the pressure of living up to his family name.
And while he might not might not be the foremost three-point shooter of his family, he’s probably the only Thompson that can hit a curveball.