Tim Tebow is getting another chance at big-league spring training.
The New York Mets announced their list of non-roster spring training invitees on Thursday and Tebow made the list again. The question now: Will he finally prove himself to be a big-league ballplayer?
Tebow, a former Heisman winner and current ESPN college football analyst, has been persistent in his attempt to be an MLB player after signing with the Mets in 2016. He hasn’t been a rousing success, but he hasn’t been a miserable failure either.
In big-league spring training, the Mets will get to see him play against the best players in the league. He’s likely to get sent down again by the end of it, but it’s at least the best possible measuring stick for Tebow’s baseball future.
At the time he signed, Tebow hadn’t played organized baseball since high school. Now four years in, Tebow has played at each level of the Mets’ minor league system. He spent all of 2019 in Triple-A, playing in 77 games and hitting four homers with 19 RBIs.
The increased competition in Triple-A could be seen in his slash line: .163/.240/.255. His batting average was down over 100 points (it was .273 in Double-A) and his on-base percentage was nearly down by the same factor (.336).
So what now for Tebow? Well, he’s shown power at the plate, steady improvement in the field and a flair for hitting dramatic homers, but at 32 years old, he’s almost a decade older than the Mets’ top prospects. With the Mets having a crowded outfield already and the death of the 40-man roster in September, it’s a good bet that we won’t see Tebow in the big leagues this year — and probably not ever.
But if being part of a team and playing baseball at the highest minor-league level fulfills Tebow, so be it.
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