Mets G.M. relied on “esoteric statistics” to justify Tebow promotion

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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.

31 responses to “Mets G.M. relied on “esoteric statistics” to justify Tebow promotion

  1. So he doesn’t really chases pitches outside the strike zone but still strike out a lot, yeah this is quite esoteric…

  2. For the longest time, Sandy Alderson was considered by many to be the smartest executive in baseball. He promoted Tebow, and now Tebow is hitting .455. It’s a very small sample. But also consider this. Most, if not all of the other players in the minor leagues have been playing baseball for the last 15 years, many of them year round. Alderson can see that Tebow has more natural baseball talent than most guys in the league. Tebow is also a great leader. He’s just playing catch up. Alderson has been to the top of the mountain. He’s not the angry, jealous type, that would deny a guy an opportunity.

  3. at low A ball especially, you can’t always judge batting avg. strictly by face value.

    sometimes a player has instructions to work on only on specific mechanics at the plate before they “cut him loose” so to speak.

    same with some pitchers who are told to only throw one specific pitch during some outings to work on commanding it.

    in these case esoteric stats mean a lot.

  4. Does Tebow drop to his knees and pray after every hit? After every strike out?

    His florid public displays of something private were enough to keep me from ever being a fan.

    I pray that the Tebow experiment ends in A ball.

  5. I think the GM said it all when he said he was “searching a little bit for some rational explanation for promoting him”. If you promote players who have earned the right to move to the next level, there’s no need to search for an explanation.

  6. sterngardfriegen says:

    Does Tebow drop to his knees and pray after every hit? After every strike out?

    His florid public displays of something private were enough to keep me from ever being a fan.

    I pray that the Tebow experiment ends in A ball.
    ==================================

    So in summary, you don’t like him because he took a knee when he scored a touchdown. I get the feeling you would approve if he took a knee for the national anthem.

  7. 1) Of course Tebow was signed to capitalize on marketing. That isn’t exactly a shocking thing in any professional sport.
    2) When you say only 10 players st his level with lower batting averages in the league, that isn’t accurate. At the time of his promotion, 7 players on his team–the Columbia Fireflies–had lower averages. Perhaps there was a minimum number of plate appearances that was not mentioned in the article.
    3) One thing often not mentioned in Tebow articles is what his age means relative to how quickly he gets promoted. He turns 30 this year. Many athletes start declining in the early 30’s, and all do eventually. Tebow doesn’t “have a lot of miles” on him, but his athletic shelf life isn’t a long one just based on age. The Mets cannot really afford to do the usual 3-4 years of player development with him. Expect to see him in AA by early next season as long as he doesn’t embarrass himself–and so far he hasn’t. If he doesn’t get a September call up next season, he will probably never get there.

  8. Tebow asks, “What Would Jesus Do?”; Alderson asks, “What Would Veeck Do?”

  9. Ok, we get it, he’s a southern redneck, an outspoken Christian, and he just offends your New York secular, politically correct sensibilities. Therefore, you have to explain to everybody ad nauseam , why he has no talent, no ability, and he is depriving other more deserving prospects of an opportunity to make it in the Big Leagues. You don’t want him or his perspective in New York City and you are doing the noble thing by denigrating his ambition and destroying his character. Good job.

  10. I wonder, with Tebow’s celebrity status and wide, rabid fanbase…How many opposing pitchers are big Tebow fans and… Y’know… “Help him out” a bit by throwing pitches right down the middle? (See: Michael Jordan playing baseball in Space Jam).

    All kidding aside, Tebow’s batting average will plummet in the coming weeks?

  11. ————————————————————
    junebucket says:
    Jul 2, 2017 2:13 PM
    Ok, we get it, he’s a southern redneck, an outspoken Christian, and he just offends your New York secular, politically correct sensibilities. Therefore, you have to explain to everybody ad nauseam , why he has no talent, no ability, and he is depriving other more deserving prospects of an opportunity to make it in the Big Leagues. You don’t want him or his perspective in New York City and you are doing the noble thing by denigrating his ambition and destroying his character. Good job.
    ———————————————————–

    I didn’t know West Virginia is in New York City. We learn something new every day, don’t we?

  12. He’s been out of the league long enough now that we should only hear about him here when he gets some football related job, gets arrested or dies.

  13. I agree junebucket! Nobody should ever “win” or “lose” in baseball or professional sports for that matter. We should just award “participation trophy’s.'” Now that’s politically correct! Everybody’s a winner and no feelings are hurt. It’s like school now-a-days: No high or low grades which would hurt feelings. Yeah and it’s like diversity. I would not select the best players..no…..That would certainly hurt feelings. I would get players from lots of different countries, nationalities, color and creeds regardless of language skills, playing ability, etc. Diversity is what counts. Yeah, let’s neuter everybody! Girls can play too! Competition is hurtful, because someone has to lose. Let’s not let that happen. Yeah, right Bevis.

  14. Why do you care what a minor league baseball team does with Tim Tebow and why do you keep dumping on a player?

    You seem to pick and choose which players you go to bat for and which ones you don’t and I will put up Tebow and Kaepernick as evidence.

  15. But with Tebow’s batting average higher than only 10 players in the entire league…

    So let me get this straight. After a ten year break, Tebow picks up a bat and hits better than ten guys signed by pro scouts, ten guys who have been playing for the last ten years, two or three years of which were in the minor leagues? If he keeps climbing the learning curve at that rate, he’ll be okay.

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