When Tim Tebow announced that he would play minor league baseball, most people thought it was somewhere between a joke and a publicity stunt: The 31-year-old Tebow hadn’t played since high school. It just wasn’t realistic to think he could amount to anything after so much time off.
But Tebow, to an extent, proved the doubters wrong. Although he was far from the best player in Double-A baseball last year, he was at least respectable, and looked like a legitimate baseball player. This was no publicity stunt.
Unfortunately, Tebow has moved up to Triple-A this year, and the early returns are ugly.
The stats for the Syracuse Mets, Tebow’s team, tell the story. He’s last on the team with a .120 batting average, last with a .185 on-base percentage and last with a .200 slugging percentage. He has struck out a team-high 10 times and hasn’t hit a home run.
“He’s still learning how to hit some of this pitching,” Syracuse manager Tony DeFrancesco told ESPN. “I mean, these guys are throwing 97, 98 miles per hour. They’re spinning the baseball. He’s making some adjustments.”
A 31-year-old minor leaguer who’s “still learning” wouldn’t last if he weren’t Tim Tebow, so there’s no doubt that the Mets organization is giving him a longer leash than it would most players. But he’s going to have to learn soon, or else his hopes of making it to the majors will go from slim to none.