Usain Bolt is one of the fastest men on the planet, so he should be great at stealing bases in the MLB, right? The Rock lifts weights every day, and can probably hit a ball 450 feet, so he should be wearing an MLB jersey, right? People who follow baseball know that these hypothetical situations are absurd because there is so much more that goes into the game than just a specific skill set.
At the conclusion of Tim Tebow’s workout earlier this week, the big news was he hit a 430-foot homerun, and that he ran a 60-yard dash in 6.65 seconds. Slowly, but surely, video of his showcase came out, reporters were able to get quotes from the scouts, and now the general public can see what to make of this Tim Tebow situation.
He is fast, he is in shape, and he has a swing that could progress into something decent. On fly balls, though, the first two that he went for, he came in instead of stepping back. That’s something that is learned in Little League; the first step is back. He failed to do so. There was also much made about the fact that he was a successful college football player who was also drafted into the NFL, but his arm strength with a baseball yesterday was not as high as expected.
Then there’s his hitting. What initially grabbed headlines was the distance of his BP moon-shot… but then we learned that those hits came against 60 mph batting practice. When former professionals threw live batting practice, he was late on everything, and any hits he could muster were all pulled. Many reports came out saying that while there’s some potential there, he certainly isn’t “Big League-ready,” and may not be for a while.
After his workout, Tim Tebow spent time talking about the idea that he gave it his all and that he felt passionate about his decision to pursue baseball. Tim Tebow has managed to become a polarizing figure in America because he was so successful in college, then struggled so much in the NFL. He was very vocal about his religious beliefs. He created the trendy “Tebow-ing”. He is someone who very much put himself in the spotlight when he was a member of the Florida Gators. Now, he finds himself in the spotlight again, only this time for a different profession.
In an age in which we have college players, like Andrew Benintendi from the Boston Red Sox, or Cuban-born Yoan Moncada; players who are extremely successful in the sport from an early beginning, and are fast-tracked to Major League Baseball, it seems that this won’t be the case for Tim Tebow. It’s predicted that he will most-likely receive an offer from an MLB team to play in developmental baseball; it may be a long-shot that he actually makes it to Major League Baseball, but he has still created headlines for himself and is now going to be tracked by the public as he attempts to climb the ladder to the MLB.
This certainly seems like a situation in which Tim Tebow is aware of who he is, knows that he is famous in the sports community, and used that to his advantage to get a workout with MLB. While it’s printed on t-shirts that “Chicks Love the Long-Ball”, it’s sad that Tim Tebow made that his number one priority.
His performance indicates that he was so wrapped up in being able to impress with his raw, physical ability, that he didn’t seem to concern himself with fundamentals. As a result, he may not fair as well with the scouts as he originally intended. No matter how much athletic ability one has, baseball is more mental than anything else. For a player who dealt so much with the mental side of football as a quarterback, it’s disappointing that the same approach wasn’t taken with baseball.
The stakes are high for Tim Tebow. He even said yesterday that football isn’t an option anymore. He’s in fantastic shape and has a phenomenal athletic ability, so it would be a shame if this opportunity collapsed and he is forced to live off his celebrity-status; doing commercials or appearing on reality television.
While he isn’t going to be the second-coming of Bo Jackson, perhaps Tim Tebow can be a demonstration of youngsters that if you don’t succeed the first time, try again and keep working hard. All eyes will be on him now as teams decide what to do with him, and how to best help him progress along.