Dodgers: What’s Next for Wilmer Font and Trayce Thompson?

LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 03: Trayce Thompson
LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 03: Trayce Thompson /

There isn’t a lot of dead weight on the Dodgers roster heading into 2018. Sure there are a few questions regarding positions and replacements for key players lost to free agency, but there’s relatively no fear of job security. With the exception of Wilmer Font and Trayce Thompson.

Both Font and Thompson could see their role with the Dodgers diminish into nothing. Font returned to the Majors for the first time in four years in 2017 after a solid season in Triple A Oklahoma City as a starter. His return to the big leagues wasn’t very pretty, however.

Trayce Thompson was a promising young outfielder in the beginning of the 2016 season, but a back injury has completely altered his career path. With more pitching and outfield prospects rising through the ranks, it leaves these two with very few options.

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Font won Pacific Coast League Pitcher of the Year in 2017. He reached double digits in wins, owned a 3.42 ERA, and struck out 178 strikeouts in 134.1 innings. However, that same success wouldn’t follow him to the big club. He gave up seven runs in 3.2 innings when he was called up.

Font’s numbers in the Minors over the last couple of seasons are consistently solid. However, Font still finds himself struggling to get to the next level and staying there. Looking closely, he hasn’t had much of a sample size in the Majors to get an accurate verdict on his future with the club. Additionally, he won the PCL Pitcher of the Year Award as a starter, but all of his innings in the bigs have come as a reliever.

Similar to Walker Buehler, Font may be one of those pitchers that is more successful as a starting pitcher rather than in relief. So perhaps expect to see him as a spot starter like Brock Stewart was last season.

Trayce Thompson on the other hand doesn’t have a clear cut option available to him. After sitting out much of the 2016 season due to a back injury, Thompson never found his former self. His raw power saw a sharp decline, his contact rate (though not high before) went down, and his defense took a knock as well.

There was a point in 2016 when many saw Thompson as the new right fielder after Yasiel Puig was having all sorts of issues on and off the field. However, Puig’s resurgence in 2017 and Chris Taylor’s breakout season are nearly impossible to overcome. Not to mention there’s a roster size list of players available to back up.

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It’ll be a steep climb but if Thompson can gain his strength back, Dave Roberts will eagerly be waiting to insert him into the lineup. Font has the numbers to put him in the 2018 gameplan, but if Thompson is able to find his stride he’s in a better position to stay on the Major League roster.