Tim Tebow spent the 2017 season split between the Low and High-A affiliates of the New York Mets.
In his first stop, he slashed .220/.311/.336 (92 wRC+) with three homers and 23 RBI. After being promoted, he improved a bit, slashing .231/.307/.356 (96 wRC+) at a higher level. Sure, he was on the WAY old end of the spectrum for that league, but in terms of baseball experience, he probably had the least .. and still managed to be a nearly league-average bat.
This Spring, he was invited to the Mets Big League camp to get a taste of what it’s like to face big leaguers, and let’s just say he wasn’t quite ready yet. In 18 plate appearances he had one hit, one walk … and eleven strikeouts. So back to the Minors Tebow went, only this time he was promoted another level to Double-A.
And in his first at-bat for the Double-A Rumble Ponies (that’s really their name), Tebow sent one deep to right:
Here’s another look from the stands:
First pitch for @TimTebow in Double-A? GONE!
— MLB (@MLB) April 5, 2018
He didn’t reach base again that day, but still, that’s extremely impressive. The jump to Double-A, for those of you who don’t know, is widely considered to be the toughest in baseball – yes, even tougher than moving from Triple-A to the The Show.
Double-A is filled with future Major Leaguers and is, without a doubt, “just a phone call away” territory. So to see him homer in his first Double-A at-bat is not just fun, it’s actually quite impressive.
Ultimately, this season feels like it’ll be the defining one for Tebow. If he shows he can handle Double-A and perhaps even earn a promotion to Triple-A by the end of the season, the Mets would probably consider letting stick around for another year. But if he flames out now, there just won’t be enough time to adjust.
Frankly, I’m rooting for him. I don’t necessarily love (or hate) Tebow, the person, but watching a former NFL quarterback take hacks in the big leagues is something I’m very much ready to watch.