Former NFL quarterback Tim Tebow continues his effort to play Major League Baseball, and his recent bump from a low-single-A team to a high-single-A team gets him closer to that goal. But with Tebow’s batting average higher than only 10 players in the entire league, coupled with 69 strikeouts in 64 games, the statistic didn’t seem to justify the promotion.
So why did Tebow make the move up?
“I was searching a little bit for some rational explanation for promoting him,” Mets G.M. Sandy Alderson said Friday, via Newsday. “Actually, if you look at some of the more esoteric statistics, he actually does pretty well. He doesn’t really chase [pitches outside the strike zone]. Some of the fundamental things you are looking for in your player, aside from athleticism and so forth. He has command of the strike zone, power — those are things he can do.”
It’s still clear that not everyone in the organization is or has been on board with the embrace of a guy who has far more celebrity than talent. Alderson explained that, when Tebow had his showcase for scouts last year, “[t]he guy we sent to see him in California did not exactly send back a glowing report.” As a result, that person wasn’t listed in the team’s media guide as Tebow’s “signing scout.” Alderson instead used the name of the team’s director of merchandising.
So far in St. Lucie, Tebow has been more about producing at the plate than at the cash register. He’s batting .455, getting five hits in 11 at bats, with one home run and three strikeouts in five games. If that continues, Alderson won’t have to rely on “esoteric” stats to support a move to double-A ball, or higher.