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Dodgers News: Roberts Reveals What Trayce Thompson’s Role Will Be Next Season

The Dodgers are about to enter 2023 with very few options in the outfield. They have Mookie Betts in right field, and he’s not going anywhere for a very long time. Then there’s Chris Taylor, who should play all over the diamond in 2023 — but the Dodgers will be hoping for somewhat of a bounce back season from him. And after that, there’s not much.

There are the young guys — James Outman and maybe even Miguel Vargas — and then there’s Trayce Thompson.



Thompson stormed onto the scene in 2022, and at one point was one of the better clutch hitters on the team. He finished last season in LA with 13 home runs, 39 RBIs and a .268 average, but struggled in the postseason, going just two for 13 with two walks.

The Dodgers are entering next season with a lot more space in the outfield, which could mean a much bigger role for Thompson. Dave Roberts had this to say about his breakout 2022 outfielder:

“Trayce is a high character guy, tremendous athlete. Earned his way back on the radar as a big league ball player,” Roberts said. “Expect more big things out of him. I think the easy one is he was considerably better versus right this year. I think that’s something that I don’t think anyone saw happening. But I think that’s something that’s going to be front of mind for him this winter.”

Regarding his potential role, Roberts expects to move him around quite a bit in the outfield.

“Just saw him recently,” Roberts said. “Looks great. He’s focused. He’s ready, which is no surprise. And expect him to kind of play all three next year.”

Last year, Thompson split his time between right, left and center field. The Dodgers have a huge need in center field with the loss of Cody Bellinger, but it does sound like Thompson will continue to move around, and provide depth all over the outfield.

The Dodgers need Thompson to be just as good as he was last regular season, if not better. As of right now, they’re very thin in the outfield. While that can still change, they clearly expect big things out of him in 2023.

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19 Comments

  1. I really like Thompson’s game, he has the potential to be a HR machine and a solid outfielder, and with a full season on the team he will get better, the Dodgers do well to keep him in the lineup, he’s a rising star.

    1. While I don’t completely share Cedric’s obvious enthusiasm for Thompson, he does deserve a good amount of playing time. He’s a good defender (not Bellinger good) and I think he can provide more consistent offense than Bellinger provided.
      That being said, I still think Dodgers trade for a centerfielder before spring trading opens.

    1. I agree. Belli and Gallo put up 1.2 bWAR and 0.2 bWAR respectively. That will not be difficult to replace even with the players the Dodgers currently have on the 40 man roster.

  2. Outman will be the cf against right handered pitchers and even lefthanders pitchers provided he hits well and cuts down his strikeouts

  3. Yes, he’s a good player, nice to have him on the team. But I want to see what the youngsters Outman and Vargas. Don’t worry we have the team to contend, the guys upstairs know what they’re doing. Always remember baseball is baseball, crazy game anything can happen. Last place team the year before, can become champions the if everything falls into place. No injuries or slumps and have the chance to become Champions.

  4. Thompson has a great swing, and he looks sweet in the field as well. On his best days, he reminds me of David Winfield. From what i heard, he has the second fastest bat speed on the team. I hope a platoon of him and Outman works out for center, and Thompson can pick up ABs in LF as well.

    1. His verticals leep is higher than any others, as well as being the tallest hitter. He already has robbed a few HR. Of course that % of grab able balls hit over the wall in his direction is pretty small, n that won’t make a difference really, bit it’s something to make a would be avg player above avg. His lateral movement speed n diving is tops too. Idk anything about WAR defense n stuff, just his ability tho. Watching his brother tho all these years, I know he’s going to be good. He could play golf or hockey or chess n he’d excell to above avg player

  5. I like Thompson ,great kid comes from a great athletic family. The Pitchers really like him too when they throw him slow curves. This guymashes everything , why hasn’t anyone grabbed him? “Throw him the Hook Johnny ” OHHHHHHHHHHHH………..

  6. Cedric. Serious? A rising star? Thompson is a 32 year old career minor leaguer/journeyman major leaguer. He played way over his head for 30 days last year.

  7. Thompson should be a platoon LF only. In that one playoff game against the Padres we saw why Thompson should not be playing CF. He doesn’t have the range for CF and has a weak arm. He has some holes in his swing but yes, much better than Bellinger has been at the plate. These are also very small sample sizes.

    Dodgers don’t have anyone inside the organization to play CF, well that is. Best internal move is to move Betts to CF if you’re not going to trade for someone. I’m skeptical about relying on so many youngsters. Outman was a very small sample size and Vargas hasn’t shown yet that he can hit at the MLB level. You don’t want to bring up these guys too early and rely on them too much at the expense of destroying their confidence. Much rather have most of them start at AAA and ease them into the MLB level.

  8. Give him a shot and platoon him with Outman. We need the Reynolds from Pittsburg.

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