He started with a first-pitch home run. Then he slumped, with one hit in 14 at-bats. Now, Tim Tebow is tearing up Double-A baseball, relatively speaking.
Tebow, a first-round pick in 2010 and a quarterback who won a playoff game the next year, hit a home run on Friday and another on Saturday for the Binghamton Rumble Ponies as part of a surge that has lifted his batting average from .133 to .241.
For the season, he now has 19 hits in 79 at bats. With five doubles, a triple, and three home runs, that gives Tebow a slugging percentage of .443.
Of course, Tebow also has struck out 38 times — exactly two K’s for every hit. But an out is an out, regardless of how it happens. The other side of the strikeout numbers is that Tebow gets a hit 46.3 percent of the time he puts the ball in play.
These numbers matter because, with the Mets determined to eventually promote a potential cash cow to the major-league club, he needs to pass the smell test at all lower levels. After previously stinking in Double-A, Tebow is now doing well enough to justify an eventual push to Triple-A ball. And then the question will become whether he can do just enough there to make it something other than an obvious money grab (which it would be) to move him to the place where many will flock to meet him and to greet him.