According to Andy McCullough on Twitter, the Kansas City Royals plan on looking for a pinch runner with their September callups. Ned Yost even has a player in mind to take on the Herb Washington role for the Kansas City Royals, minor leaguer Terrance Gore.
Terrance Gore is not on the 40-man, but Ned Yost intimated he is likely to get a call-up in Sept. The team needs a pinch-runner, Yost said.
— Andy McCullough (@McCulloughStar) August 22, 2014
Gore basically possesses one elite tool – his speed. This season, split between the Wilmington Blue Rocks and the Omaha Storm Chasers, Gore has stolen 45 bases while being caught only seven times. During his minor league career, Gore has stolen 166 bases, having been caught 17 times. That speed would certainly appear to make him a viable option for a pinch running role, given that the Royals have several players in their lineup who are not exactly fleet of foot.
This speed has also led to the inevitable thought that Terrance Gore may be able to be another Jarrod Dyson. Dyson really had the one elite tool as well with his speed. Yet, unlike Gore, Dyson displayed an ability to hit at the minor league level, producing a career .276/.344/.347 batting line to go along with his 181 stolen bases. Gore, meanwhile, has produced a .238/.344/.272 batting line, only hitting above .260 during his time with the Royals rookie league team in the Arizona League.
It would seem highly unlikely that Gore would be able to do any damage at the plate, at least at this point in his career. However, that is not to say that he could not develop. Gore already appears to have a solid eye in the batter’s box, as his walk rate has typically been above league average prior to this season. He also looks to utilize his speed, as Gore has a 54.9% career ground ball rate. If he can begin to hit more line drives in order to take advantage of that one true tool, the Gore may be able to become something more than a late inning speedster.
Yet, that type of role is certainly acceptable for Gore this year. Just as Washington never set foot on the field to play a position, nor had a plate appearance at any point in time, Gore will be used for that one asset. In fact, Washington is the only non pitcher to appear in over 100 games and never have a plate appearance. While it seems unlikely that Gore will have that type of career, he may be able to help the Royals win a game late in the season with his legs, much like Washington did for the A’s forty years ago.
With time, Terrance Gore may be able to develop into Jarrod Dyson. For now, he is better served as the Royals version of Herb Washington.