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Terrance Gore: showing that speed can make a baseball player

Looking at Royals' farmhand Terrance Gore.


Walking into my first Burlington Royals game this season, I was there to see one player- Bubba Starling. While Bubba was a fine enough prospect, I could not help but notice his outfield-mate Terrance Gore.

Gore is not the tallest player, standing at an Atluve-ian height of 5'7, but he uses that height to his advantage. Gore has a very good batting eye at the plate, and controls the strikezone well. He was very good at getting into counts when I saw him, wearing pitchers out with a good approach. Over the 2012 season for Burlington, he had a 52/36 K/BB ratio in 276 PAs,

Gore is very good at utilizing his speed (3.8 seconds to first from the right-handed batters box), he is a good bunter and forces the third baseman to play on the edge of the grass. Gore also can shorten up with 2 strikes and put the ball in play, knowing that his speed will put pressure on the fielders to try and be perfect.

Gore is so fast in fact, that he had two moments that have stuck with me for a while. The first one was on a routine groundball to third-base, Gore simply beat it out. It was perhaps hit a tad slow, but it was a routine play and Gore simply beat the throw. The second play was on a sacrifice bunt, Gore put his head down and went first-to-third on it, after they recorded the out at first. While it is worth noting that the bag was uncovered and that was part of the reason why, Gore still was able to go first-to-third on a sac bunt.

Gore did not play much center field because A.) Bubba Starling plays center field, and B.) his arm is severely lacking for the position. I think he can play center because his range is good enough to make up for his arm. A quick look at the stats shows that range can be worth more than arm.

The typical range for range runs (RngR) in the MLB is -20-20 (according to Fangraphs), which is roughly a 4-win swing, while the range for arm runs (ArmR) is only -10-10, which is roughly a 2-win swing. I think the benefit of his range makes up for the lack of throwing power.

Gore resembles players like Juan Pierre and Scott Podsednik, in that he will probably post SLGs lower than his OBPs, but his OBPs will be high enough (and their defense good enough) to be 1-2 win players. His worst-case scenario due to his speed and defense is a 4th outfielder.

There are quite a few red flags regarding Gore, including his size, and his lack of power. While durability could be a concern for the speedster, that is something I'll worry about when we see some actual problems. As Jose Altuve showed, size can be overcome if the player is talented enough.

Gore is not the sexiest prospect, but his speed could be enough to propel him to a nice MLB career.