Thompson is a strong center fielder and presumably would get some of Pederson’s at-bats, particularly against left-handed pitchers. Pederson batted an identical .207 vs. lefties and righties, but his walk and power numbers were down considerably against lefties in 136 plate appearances.
Thompson, a right-handed hitter, is the son of longtime NBA player and ESPNLosAngeles Lakers broadcaster Mychal Thompson and the brother of NBA star Klay Thompson. He said all the right things in a conference call with reporters Wednesday night after he was traded to the Dodgers from the Chicago White Sox in a three-team, seven-player deal.
He might have been the everyday center fielder if he had stayed in Chicago. In L.A., he’s got to beat out Pederson for playing time but said he’ll live with whatever time-sharing agreement the coaches reach this spring. He and Pederson have been friends since instructional league. They spend hours playing video-game soccer when they get together.
“I know it’s a different path for me as far as what I had going on with the White Sox, but it doesn’t matter whether you’re an everyday guy or a bench guy. You’ve still got to go out and prove yourself every day,” Thompson said.
Thompson even indicated he would be willing to play another outfield position to accommodate playing with Pederson.
“I know I can be an everyday major-leaguer, but as far as what position, that’s not up to me, it’s up to the coaches,” Thompson said. “Joc and I are really good buddies, he’s an amazing player and his talent makes the team better. Hopefully, the coaches find a way to get us both in there.”