New York Mets general manager Sandy Alderson told the media earlier this week when asked, that he thought Tim Tebow would play in the Major Leagues at some point. Alderson did not give a time table as to when that might happen or whether he thought Tebow was a Major League player.
If I sound a bit skeptical about Tebow chasing a fast ball from Kenley Jansen or any other pitcher, it’s because Tebow isn’t anything close to a polish professional baseball player. Still, the mystique of the Heisman Trophy winner, turned washed out NFL star to college television analyst, to a minor league curiosity who puts butts in the seats will have a chance to prove myself and everyone else who doubts him wrong.
And before someone gets on their moral compass, Tebow the human being is what is right in this world and what is right about professional sports. Hitting baseballs for average and making defensive plays in the outfield are still a foreign concept to him.
”Somebody asked me if thought he’d be a major league player at some point. I think he will play in the major leagues. That’s my guess,” Alderson said.
”This experiment is not going to last forever, but he’s made meaningful progress. We thought he would best benefit from being in major league camp – that that would accelerate his development,” Alderson said.
Tebow has done what was expected – brought the masses out to minor league ballparks – first in Columbia, SC and then in St. Lucie, Florida. It is only natural for fans of sport and one of the most polarizing sports figures in decades to want to see him realize another dream.
I wrote years ago that with Tebow you get the entire package – the athlete, the preacher, the businessman, the Rockstar and the man every mother wants to date their daughter. It’s that sales pitch that continues to make him front page news and ruffles some feather as to how he is talked about when major and minor leaguers have given their lives to live out a dream.
Tebow has remained focus on playing baseball, something he was successful at in high school before turning to football full-time while at the University of Florida.
”As an athlete, you always want to be the best you can and play at the highest level, win a championship, be the best. We don’t compete to have fun, we compete to win. So you want to compete at the highest level,” Tebow said,
”I view success as being able to play a game I love every day,” he said. ”If the best that I can be is in the bigs, that would be awesome. I believe in myself and want to strive for that.”
The numbers weren’t great, and probably on par with what many talking heads figured for a first season. Tebow earned a midseason promotion from Low-A Columbia to High-A St. Lucie in late June despite hitting just .220 in 64 games in the South Atlantic League.
With St. Lucie, he started out strong. He was hitting .303 in his first 30 games with the St. Lucie Mets before slumping and ending his Florida State League campaign with a .231 average, five homers and 29 RBIs in 62 games. The power is undeniable, but there is still work to be done.
Per the story on foxsports.com, Tebow has worked to improve his swing, looking for more lift and becoming freer with his hands and more athletic. He spent a lot of time in the outfield to improve his overall defense and focused on his baserunning.
Fans will wait to see if Alderson’s prediction comes true. Only time and improvement will determine how the path to the Majors is reached – in a short journey or toward the end of the 2018 season.
You can Follow David M. Levin on Twitter @DM719907 and @MarlinsMania. He is featured on 247sports.com and coming soon to Realtealnation.com.