For the first time, Dodgers outfielder Trayce Thompson is heading into the regular season with a guaranteed big-league contract and has his roster spot locked in this year.
Last season, LA brought him in for two weeks and his performance helped him secure a spot on the roster for the remainder of the season.
Even though he has earned his spot, Thompson comes into the season with a humble and hungry mentality.
Dodger insider Cary Osborne shared how Thompson is feeling as he heads into the 2023 season.
“I only know one way, and that’s to go out and make a team and fight for every opportunity I could possibly get,” Thompson said. “I know that I’m going to be on the team. But at the same time, I don’t think that my mentality has really changed. I’m out here to try to prove myself every day.”
Thompson is still looking to work on his craft and remains focused on upgrading from last season.
“I knew I could do it last year. I feel like people know that it’s in there after last year. Obviously, people saw it, but I think there’s more in the tank. My opinion is I didn’t have that great of a year,” Thompson said. “I didn’t hit lefties at all. I punched out way too high of a rate. And so I think there’s a lot to improve on, and I know I’m going to, so I’m excited to see what the year has in store.”
In 36% of his plate appearances last year, Thompson struck out. This strikeout rate is something that the outfielder can aim to improve upon. Another area Thompson can work on is his contact rate and performance when going up against lefties. The 31-year-old batted just .174 with a .621 OPS against lefties last season.
As Thompson ups his game, he is determined to prove himself, especially alongside his star teammates who have earned their positions on the team season after season.
“I think it’s a privilege and a luxury when you get to have that feeling like 5 (Freddie Freeman) and 50 (Mookie Betts). You know where you’re going to be, and I haven’t earned that,” Thompson said. “So I have to go out and prove myself every day. And that’s just kind of been my norm in my career. So there’s nothing stressful or anxious for me. It’s just, it is what it is. I kind of embrace being the guy that’s kind of counted against. For me, I just try to go out and earn my way every single day and try and go make noise every single day.”
A winning organization attracts motivated players with relentless mentalities, and Thompson is certainly one of those players.
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