Thompson not feeling family-name pressure

Thompson not feeling family-name pressure

CHICAGO -- It would be easy for Trayce Thompson to try to live up to his family's famous name with every at-bat and every play he makes in the field. But two factors prevent that situation from ever taking place.

The 24-year-old is very comfortable in his own skin and with his own ability on the baseball field. And Thompson has nothing but respect for the accomplished basketball side of his family in his dad, former NBA player Mychal, brother and current NBA champion, Klay, and brother, Mychel, who plays professionally in Italy.

According to Thompson, the club's No. 15 prospect, per MLB.com, who made his second straight start on Wednesday night, they are really just a normal family featuring championship athletic accomplishments.

"When we're together, we're just like any other family," Thompson said. "When we're together, my brother's dog is the center of the family. So it's been pretty fun.

"You could ask [Tyler Saladino] or Carlos Sanchez, who have been around us, we're just like any other family. We're just like their families, too. We're just normal people, but we just happen to be very blessed to do what we love as jobs. It's been a blessing, and it's been a lot of fun."

The youngest Thompson launched his first career homer, off friend and opponent Hector Santiago, on Tuesday. Yet some headlines around the country referred to Thompson as "Klay's brother." It's a title Trayce is proud to wear.

"I do my own thing, but people are going to refer to me as that until I make an All-Star team or until I win a championship," Trayce said. "It is what it is. It doesn't bother me.

"To me, Klay is just my older brother. He's not a basketball player. He's just Klay to me, and Mikey's Mikey, and my dad's my dad, and my mom's my mom."

Trayce's mom, Julie, just might be the best athlete of the whole family. She set California state records in track and was a Division I volleyball player at the University of San Francisco.

"She's a really good athlete," Trayce said of his mom. "She doesn't want any of the attention. That's how she is. To try to get a picture of her, it's not going to happen. She stays in the shadows. We owe her a lot of credit, for sure."

Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.