White Sox’ Trayce Thompson can hold his own on basketball court
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ANAHEIM, Calif. – Trayce Thompson is the best baseball player in his family. And while his pro brothers Klay and Mychel are the best basketball players, there are times when the 6-3, 210-pound Trayce holds his own in family hoops competitions.
“I actually do pretty good because I’m the most physical one,’’ Thompson said Monday. “I can get in their heads, too. I like to talk a little bit.’’
The Thompsons play a game called “in the paint” where shots can only be taken from close range.
“The last time we played, I actually won,’’ Trayce said. “There’s no fouls, so you just got to be pretty tough. But I can’t shoot like they can at all, especially Klay [an NBA All-Star and champion with the Golden State Warriors]. And Mikey’s the most athletic one. He can rise above both of us. It’s been a while since we’ve played, but usually I do pretty well.
“I play the hardest, so they don’t really like to guard me. And I’m the sweatiest, so they don’t like to guard me.’’
The Thompson family hails from Orange County, and a large contingent were on hand Monday to see Trayce start in right field and bat fifth against Angels lefty Andrew Heaney.
With left-handed hitting designated Adam LaRoche producing very little, Thompson, a good defender who has played all three outfield positions, figures to play more against lefties. Avisail Garcia was the DH Monday.
“Right now it fits doing it against lefties, getting a guy in the outfield off his feet,’’ manager Robin Ventura said. “Trayce has put himself in to place to [platoon] first and it could end up being more than that.’’
Thompson, a .241 career hitter in the minor leagues, went into the game with six hits, including a double and homer, in 12 at-bats.
The Sox went into Monday’s game trailing Baltimore by four in the loss column with five times – including the Angels – between them in pursuit of the American League wild card. Their 55-60 record says no but Ventura said the Sox are playing meaningful games.
“They’re meaningful because you don’t really know what it’s going to look like in two more weeks when everybody is jumbled like that,’’ Ventura said. “Really depending on the roll you go on and how you do week to week, you don’t know really the position you’re going to be in.’’
Ventura compared the AL to the SEC football conference, “where there’s no breather there. Everybody’s got something that’s tough to deal with.’’
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