He started the year with the San Diego Padres but didn’t produce.
He then found himself on the Detroit Tigers, but didn’t play in MLB.
The Dodgers saw potential in him and acquired him from the Tigers for cash considerations a few weeks ago.
Predictably, he hasn’t stopped hitting since then.
The Dodgers have an excellent player development staff and coaches, who work to spot talent and maximize it.
They have turned around many careers in the last five years, and Thompson appears to be the most recent example.
“Since being acquired from the Tigers for cash considerations, Trayce Thompson has the 10th best wRC+ (160) in the National League,” Dodgers insider Blake Harris tweeted.
Since being acquired from the Tigers for cash considerations, Trayce Thompson has the 10th best wRC+ (160) in the National League pic.twitter.com/W2CSLbjAFO
— Blake Harris (@BlakeHarrisTBLA) July 27, 2022
The wRC+ stat means weighted Runs Created Plus, and helps us evaluate offensive performance using 100 as a benchmark for the “average” hitter.
Well-Above Average Production
Anything lower than 100 is below-average.
Anything over 100, in turn, is considered above-average, and 160 means elite performance.
In 73 at-bats, Thompson is slashing .301/.386/.534 with three homers and a .920 OPS.
He strikes out a lot (28 times over that sample), but when he makes contact, it’s usually loud.
Thompson is another case of a top organization helping a player improve and contribute.
They certainly deserve to reap the benefits, for as long as they last.
Such a high strikeout rate is usually tied with a much lower batting average, but hard contact helps offset that somewhat.
In any case, no one is expecting Thompson to maintain a batting average over .300.
What he could do is retain his power production and his ability to work walks.
The Dodgers, even if he regresses a bit, should be more than happy with their recent gem.