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Wednesday Fantasy Pickup: Trayce Thompson, OF, Dodgers

Those of you who play in keeper leagues ought to be quite familiar with Thompson's name – a 2009 second-round pick by the White Sox, he remained among that organization's top prospects for years due to his enticing power-speed combo; unfortunately, a tendency to strike out way too much and a .241 career average in the minors sapped some of the fantasy community's enthusiasm. However, the strides Thompson made last year – dramatically trimming his strikeout rate and then hitting .295 in 44 games on the South Side of Chicago – have persisted into this year.

Besides his 10 homers, four steals (three of which came in one game last weekend, offering the promise of more to come) and .271 average, the 25-year-old sports an 11.6 percent walk rate that's higher than any he's posted in a minor league season, his contact rate is up, he's swinging at fewer pitches out of the zone, and he's cut his pop-up rate by three-quarters from last year. That's a lot of great signs in one package. The result has been a near-everyday spot in the Dodgers' lineup – one that he doesn't seem likely to relinquish. Now, to be fair, there are some warning signs to be found here – Thompson is hitting the ball on the ground a whole lot, and his sky-high 34.5 percent HR/FB rate is nearly impossible to sustain over the course of a full season. He's also a pull-heavy hitter from the right side, which means teams will shift against him more and more in this modern era of defensive positioning.

So no, he's probably not a .300 hitter, and no, he's probably not going to reach 30 homers this year, but a slight improvement from his current batting average with 20-plus homers and 15 or so steals would be well within the range of Thompson's abilities. That basically makes him a junior version of last year's edition of Mookie Betts, which means fantasy owners should be jumping on board with alacrity.