Micah & Trayce Dealt…
On Wednesday, December 16, the Chicago White Sox completed a three-way trade with the Cincinnati Reds and the Los Angeles Dodgers to acquire hard-hitting third baseman Todd Frazier. A native of Point Pleasant, NJ, Frazier slugged 35 home runs last season with the Reds. He also won the Home Run Derby at the 2015 All-Star Game in front of his hometown crowd of Cincinnati.
In exchange for the talented masher, the White Sox dealt three prospects — all of which went to the Dodgers. Two of the three players spent time with the Knights last season. Both 2B Micah Johnson and OF Trayce Thompson, two of the key pieces dealt on Wednesday, were Knights last year. The Dodgers also received talented RHP Frankie Montas, considered the top pitching prospect in Chicago’s system.
Let’s take a look at the two players who spent time with the Knights:
Micah Johnson – (2014-15)
Johnson was selected by the Chicago White Sox in the ninth round of the 2012 draft out of Indiana University. The Indianapolis native climbed his way through Chicago’s system and made his way into Uptown Charlotte in 2014.
After hitting .329 with the Double-A Birmingham Barons in 2014, Johnson hit .275 with the Knights in 65 games that season. A year after swiping a combined 84 bases in 2013, Johnson combined to steal 22 in 2014 — 12 with the Knights.
In 2015, Johnson competed for Chicago’s second base job in Spring Training — and won it. After beating out Carlos Sanchez, Johnson started the season in Chicago and hit .270 with the club before being sent to Charlotte in mid-May.
From May 15 to September 7, Johnson excelled with the Charlotte Knights in 78 games. The soon-to-be 25-year-old hit .315 (98-for-311) with Charlotte. He scored 54 runs, while hitting 17 doubles, three triples, and eight home runs. Johnson swiped 28 bases — finishing second on the Knights behind Leury Garcia’s 30.
Johnson compiled a four-hit game with the Knights on July 7, while accumulating a total of 13 games with three hits or more. He had a terrific month of July, compiling a .378 batting average with eight doubles, three triples, four home runs, and 14 RBIs. He was recalled to Chicago after Charlotte’s season concluded.
Overall with Chicago in 2015, Johnson hit .230 (23-for-100) in 36 games.
Trayce Thompson – (2015)
Thompson, a native of Los Angeles, will return to his roots after Wednesday’s trade to the Dodgers.
Originally drafted by the Chicago White Sox in the second round of the 2009 draft, Thompson made his Charlotte Knights debut in 2015 and was an International League All-Star. He hit .260 with 13 home runs and 39 RBIs in 104 games with the Knights on his way to his first big league promotion. He was among the Knights team leaders in a number of categories, including doubles, which he finished second on the team (23).
Thompson was promoted to the White Sox on August 3 and he excelled in the field and at the plate. He hit .295 with five home runs and 16 RBIs in 44 games with the South Siders.
At the time of his promotion to Chicago, the 24-year-old was tied for first among International League outfielders in games played (103), and ranked first in the IL in total chances (249), and putouts (243).
Now, Thompson returns home. He officially takes his talents back to California, where his dad was a star basketball player and his brother is currently a star on the Golden State Warriors.
On behalf of the Charlotte Knights organization, I wish both former Knights — Trayce Thompson and Micah Johnson — as well as Frankie Montas — good luck in Los Angeles!