Terrance Gore is one of the fastest players in baseball at any level -- a skill that has earned him late-season callups to serve as a pinch runner the past three seasons. He has just nine major league plate appearances over that stretch but has collected 19 steals. His offensive game has thus far been completely one dimensional, as he has never hit a home run as a professional and hit just .233 for Double-A Northwest Arkansas. Still, with 44 steals after reaching base just 83 times, Gore is a huge threat on the basepaths every time he gets on. While his speed also makes him a defensive asset, it would be a mistake to compare him to another speedster, Billy Hamilton, whose .351 minor league OBP allowed him to amass a 155-steal season in 2012. The Royals will likely keep Gore in the minors to start 2017, but he has just one minor league option remaining, so a time may soon come when some tough decisions need to be made.
Gore was optioned Monday to Double-A Northwest Arkansas. Gore actually saw action earlier Monday during the Royals' 2-0 loss to the A's, entering as a pinch runner in the ninth inning. With only 12 career at-bats over three seasons, Gore has offered little fantasy value outside of the stolen-base opportunities that have come his way during pinch-running appearances -- he's swiped 19 bases in the majors. The 25-year-old hit just .233 over 253 at-bats in the minors last season, but his speed was in evidence there as well (44 steals). No corresponding move has been announced yet.
Gore is gaining favor with manager Ned Yost, which may help him remain on the roster even when Jorge Soler (oblique) returns from the 10-day DL, MLB.com's Jeffrey Flanagan reports. The speedster has been tabbed as a one-dimensional player, but his manager disagrees. Gore has made strides defensively and the Royals' coaching staff noticed his improvements this spring. Yost went so far as to say he wouldn't hesitate to use the 25-year-old as a defensive replacement, if necessary. Gore's skipper acknowledged that the outfielder's attributes are limited, but also noted that he believes Gore's speed can be a big factor in helping the club succeed. "He can win games with that speed," Yost said. "It's a huge weapon to have late in a game. I'm not saying we can keep that weapon all season, especially when we go to 13 pitchers. But for now, it made sense."
Gore secured a spot on the Royals' Opening Day roster, MLB.com's Jeffrey Flanagan reports. Despite his anemic performance at the plate in spring training, Gore was able to win a reserve role in the outfield for the Royals thanks to Jorge Soler suffering a strained oblique that resulted in him landing on the DL. Soler's injury is expected to open an everyday role in right field for Paulo Orlando, while most of Gore's appearances will likely come as a pinch runner or defensive replacement.
Gore is hitting just .214 (3-for-14) this spring with four stolen bases. He faces an uphill battle for a spot on the 25-man roster against Billy Burns, Paulo Orlando and Whit Merrifield for a reserve outfielder role, the Jopling Globe reports. Gore hit just .233 with a .563 OPS at Double-A last season, so he'll likely need time at Triple-A. However, he's worth monitoring as even in a limited reserve role he could provide fantasy value due to his speed. He's one of the fastest players in baseball and stole 55 bases between the majors and Double-A last year.
Gore was sent down to Double-A Northwest Arkansas on Wednesday, Jeffrey Flanagan of MLB.com reports. Gore earned his first at-bat of the season during Wednesday's blowout loss to the Nationals, and was demoted to Double-A Northwest Arkansas shortly after the game ended. During the season, Gore has only appeared four times as a baserunner and even though he steals nearly every time he is on base, his usage isn't good enough to be used in most fantasy formats.