Tim Tebow May Actually Make it to the Major Leagues This Season
Yes, you read the headline correctly. And if that got your attention, I'll be happy to explain how a guy who took a 10-year hiatus from playing baseball at any level will actually become a Major League Ballplayer by September.
You'll recall the history of one Timothy Tebow. Heisman Trophy winning QB at the University of Florida, former NFL Quarterback and part-time ESPN College Football analyst.
Tebow has been a lightning rod amongst the sporting public over the past 10 or so years with most people in North Florida convinced he should be playing in the NFL while most of the rest of the football world steadfastly showing proof he shouldn't.
It took multiple tryouts with multiple teams before he gave up that dream and began pursuit of another.
In 2016, Tebow announced to the world he wanted to play Major League Baseball and after a brief, highly attended tryout--signed a deal to play for the New York Mets.
He'd not played baseball in any form since high school in North Florida---in 2005 where he was fairly successful. His deal with the Mets got him a ticket to the Instructional League and Arizona Fall League where he had limited at best success.
But, the next season, his hard work started to pay off. Despite his advanced age for a Minor Leaguer, he made his way through Single A Baseball, finishing the 2017 season with the Advanced A Team in St. Lucie, Florida where he hit .231, had 5 home runs and 22 RBI's in 200+ at bats. Oh, his presence provided St. Lucie with the largest attendance growth in the Minor Leagues....
No, his on-field statistics were not great, but an improvement....
Fast forward to this season (2018) where he got an invite to the Mets Major League Camp where he promptly bombed, going 1 for 18 with 11 strikeouts in limited action.
The performance got him sent to the Mets Double-A team in Binghamton, New York where believe it or not, things appear to have started to click.
A .261 average in the first half of the season which included a run of hitting well over .300 for his last 22 games got Tebow an invite to the Eastern League All-Star game where he started at Designated Hitter and went 1 for 4.
But enough of the back story......
Remember what I mentioned earlier in the column, he is in the New York Mets Minor League system. The same Mets who as I write this, stand at 37-53 on the 2018 season with little to no chance of sniffing the playoffs and in danger of having the worst record in the National League.
The injury ravaged Mets have been playing with a rag-tag lineup, patched together by Manager Mickey Callaway on a nightly basis and well, are just plain bad. Awful bad.
Which is why come September, when Major League teams are allowed to expand their game-day rosters to 40 players, the Mets will call up Tim Tebow.
And Citi Field will be nearly if not totally full that day. ESPN will be all over the game and the National Attention will be more than the Mets will have received the entire season.
It won't matter if Tebow is hitting .260 or .360 or .160, he will get the call. And he will play.
He may not play well, he may be overmatched, but he will play.
You may not agree and may think it is a publicity stunt and you won't be totally wrong. But you SHOULD respect the effort and respect the work Tebow is putting in.
He doesn't NEED to play baseball. And by most standards, he shouldn't be able to make it to the Major Leagues at the Age of 30 with 2-years of Minor League experience after taking 11-years away from baseball.
Which speaks to the athlete and shows what someone with an iron will and determination can do if they really want to.....