Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Trayce Thompson opened the ledger on 2023’s list of grand slams with an absolute moonshot against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Let’s break down the Trayce Thompson grand slam.
Three of the first four Dodgers reached, loading the bases for Chris Taylor. Taylor hit a sacrifice fly to give the Dodgers a 1-0 lead before Miguel Vargas walked to bring up Thompson.
In Thompson’s first at-bat of the season, he unloaded on the second pitch he saw against Madison Bumgarner. According to Baseball Savant, he blasted it 407 feet at 107.5 miles per hour (remember this number). It had an expected batting average of .850, and it was classified as a barrel.
What is a Barrel? – Trayce Thompson Grand Slam
Statcast defines a barrel as a “batted ball with the perfect combination of exit velocity and launch angle.” Thompson launched his grand slam at 34 degrees with a 107.5 mile-per-hour exit velocity – both numbers squarely within barrel territory.
During the game, there were six barrels including five by the Dodgers and one by the Diamondbacks’ Christian Walker.
Barrels generally result in extra-base hits, and they are often home runs including Thompson’s, Walker’s, and a J.D. Martinez home run in the seventh inning.
The Rest of the Game
With a home run and four runs batted in, Thompson already seemed to have the player of the game award locked up. However, he raised the stakes in his third at-bat, cruising a pitch 417 feet into the seats for his second home run. As with his first home run, Thompson hit it with a 107.5 mile-per-hour exit velocity resulting in his second barrel of the night.
Three innings later, Thompson led off the eighth inning with his third home run. This missile traveled 440 feet after Thompson hit it 107.5 miles per hour off the bat for his third barrel of the game. This was Thompson’s eighth and final run batted in of the night, finishing a three-for-four night with three runs scored. He slugged 3.000 and had an incredible 3.750 OPS.
History of the Trayce Thompson Grand Slam
Thompson’s three-home run outburst was the first of the season for any player. Before the game, Thompson only had 39 career MLB home runs and one multi-homer game – a game back in 2016 when he was 25. Thompson just turned 32.
The only other player from that 2016 game who is still on the same team is Mike Trout. Even Thompson, who was on the Dodgers in 2016, played for the Oakland Athletics, Chicago White Sox, Chicago Cubs, and San Diego Padres in the meantime.
Thompson is the 28th player in Dodgers history to hit three home runs in a game. Before Thomspon, the feat had last been accomplished in 2020 by Mookie Betts.
Thompson’s grand slam was the 299th in Dodgers history (dating back to 1914). In 2022, only two Dodgers hit grand slams – Cody Bellinger and Justin Turner. Thompson’s first-inning grand slam was last matched by a Bellinger bomb in June of 2021.
Just a few games into the 2023 season, Thompson looks like a potential breakout star for the Dodgers.
Main image credit Embed from Getty Images