Although it may not feel this way (because of that wonky free agent market), we’re LESS THAN A MONTH from pitchers and catchers reporting to Spring Training 2018 (thank God).
And given that proximity, some MLB teams are beginning to announce their non-roster invitees to big league camp. Among them, the New York Mets …
We’ve invited nine players to major league #SpringTraining including: Peter Alonso, P.J. Conlon, Kevin Kaczmarski, Patrick Mazeika, Drew Smith, Corey Taylor, Tim Tebow, David Thompson and Adonis Uceta. #Mets
— New York Mets (@Mets) January 19, 2018
Read along with me: Peter, P.J., Kevin, Patrick, Corey …. TIM TEBOW.
Yes, the low-level Mets prospect and former NFL quarterback Tim Tebow is getting a non-roster invitation to the Mets big league camp. Whoa-baby.
In case you forgot, Tebow was a Heisman Trophy winner and two-time national champion at Florida, before being drafted by the Broncos in the first round of the 2010 NFL draft. After flaming out in the NFL, he tried his hand at baseball, signing a Minor League contract with the Mets (of course) in September of 2016.
In his first season as a Mets prospect, Tebow slashed .220/.311/.336 at Low-A (which was just barely below average overall), but did manage to walk nearly 10% of the time. He was eventually promoted to High-A half-way through the year (mostly out of necessity (he’s already 30)), where he slashed .231/.307/.356 with five homers, 29 RBI, and 2 stolen bases in 62 games.
Relative to the rest of the league, Tebow’s production was about 4% worse than the average hitter (technically an improvement), though his walk rate dropped to about 8%. Of course, he wasn’t quite hitting for any average or power – especially given his frame – but he did manage to cut his strikeout rate by about 5 percentage points. Shrug. Whatever.
Now, with a year of professional baseball under his belt, the Mets are going to give him a chance to prove himself with the big boys … and in all likelihood, he’ll fail miserably … but I understand why the they’re are doing it – stick with me.
Tebow i$ already 30 year$ old and will almo$t certainly never contribute at the Major League level. But if you’re not going to even give him a chance to $how what he’$ got, then what wa$ the point of $igning him in the fir$t place.
Still, I know some of you get annoyed when you hear about Tebow and the attention he gets vis a vis other quality Minor Leaguers, but just try to divorce yourself from reality and enjoy the show. If anything, we’ll get a few chucks at Tebow trying his best to catch up to a 95 MPH fastball, before flailing away at the sort of big-league slider or 12-6 curveball he’ll never even dream of touching.
And, hey, that’s pretty fun, right?