There may be no more interestingly-quirky MLB player this millennium than Georgia native Terrance Gore. The fleet-footed outfielder has carved out a niche as a deep cut reserve outfielder whom championship-contending teams add to a post-season roster for his baserunning talents.
Gore was drafted by the Kansas City Royals in the 20th round of the 2011 draft out of Gulf Coast State College in Panama City, FL. He made his Major League debut in 2014 for the Royals where he played in 49 regular-season and eight playoff games through the 2017 season, including post-season appearances in both 2014 and 2015. After having his contract purchased from the Royals by the Chicago Cubs late in 2018, he returned to the Royals in 2019 and garnered 58 of his 77 career regular season plate appearances before having his contract purchased by the New York Yankees. Gore signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2020 and appeared into two games during the pandemic-shortened season, although he failed to make the team’s post-season roster. In February 2021, he signed with Atlanta.
There were no expectations for Gore coming into the 2021 season beyond the novelty of his potential post-season, pinch-running capabilities. Though he was signed in February, he didn’t even appear in a major league Spring Training game with the Braves.
2021 Season Results
Gore appeared in only 49 Triple-A games, although speculatively, he may have been part of the Braves’ pandemic-required taxi squad at various points through the season. His signing was a minor league depth move, and despite the rash of injuries and performance issues the Braves battled through at the major league level until the Trade Deadline, he did not appear in a regular season game in 2021.
What went right? / What went wrong?
Terrance Gore got a World Series ring in 2021, so in my book, this was the best possible outcome for all involved. This is the third time in his career Gore will have received a championship ring (2015 Royals, 2020 Dodgers), meaning not a damn thing went wrong for the player who I believe is the only Braves player to appear in a postseason game for the team without appearing in a regular season game. (If you are interested in actually pulling the data and looking into this assertion and find it to be incorrect, please post who I forgot about in the comments below.)
Road to the Title
Gore was added to the NLDS roster and made his only appearance in a big league Braves uniform in Game 2 as a pinch-runner. That lone appearance was meaningless — he pinch-ran for pinch-hitter Joc Pederson after the latter singled, and then was replaced by Luke Jackson after Jorge Soler flew out. He did, however, draw two pickoff throws, and was running on the 1-0 pitch that Soler flew out on. He was removed from the NLCS roster but was added back to the World Series roster, although he did not appear in a game against the Astros. He did, however, gleefully appear in locker room celebrations after the Braves were victorious in Game 6, taking selfies.
While Gore has not yet become this generation’s version of Matt Alexander, his services are likely to be sought after as a minor league signing who can provide depth during the minor league season and/or fill a niche role in the regular season, or more likely, in the playoffs. Although he did opt for free agency, it is at least plausible that Gore could re-sign on a minor league contact with Atlanta in hopes of running it back in 2022.