The same few names have been mentioned as options to replace Jarrod Dyson as the Kansas City Royals right fielder. Terrance Gore has been forgotten about and may have his best chance to show he is more than a pinch runner.
It is easy to look at Terrance Gore and see a younger Jarrod Dyson. Both outfielders have plenty of speed, and are never going to hit for much power, legging out their extra base hits instead of driving the ball into the gaps. Perhaps that comparison makes it a bit ironic that Gore could be an option for the Kansas City Royals now that Dyson could be out for the early part of the season with an oblique injury.
As someone who is essentially a Dyson clone, this could well open up a spot on the major league roster for Gore. He has already made his mark in the postseason as a pinch runner, stealing four bases and scoring two runs in his eight games of action. The question is now whether or not Gore can be more than that, and be someone that the Royals could count on in a fourth or fifth outfield role.
The biggest impediment towards that goal is whether or not Gore will be able to hit. In his limited time at the major league level, he has looked overmatched, making weak contact when he has put the bat on the ball. This continues his minor league performance, where Gore has a career 11.4% line drive rate and a 54.5% ground ball rate. While this approach does play to his great asset, speed, Gore’s career .245/.347/.278 batting line in the minors is hardly inspiring.
However, last season was perhaps Gore’s best season with the bat. Not only did his speed showcase itself with 39 stolen bases in 41 attempts, but Gore provided a solid .284/.367/.311 batting line in 259 plate appearances at Northwest Arkansas. Yes, Gore showed a complete lack of extra base capability, with five total extra base hits, but his ability to get on base and run rampant are certainly valuable.
Should Gore show that he can be a productive player during Spring Training, and make enough contact where his blazing speed is able to be a weapon, he could play his way into a role on the Royals. He would certainly replace that dimension provided by Dyson, but will Gore hit enough to be more than a modern day Herb Washington?
If Terrance Gore is truly going to have a legitimate chance to prove that he can be a valuable part of the Kansas City Royals, this may be his time. In doing so, the Royals could replace Jarrod Dyson with a younger version of himself.