What a difference a few months can make.
Despite the detractors lambasting Tim Tebow’s baseball career as a mere PR stunt, early reports are suggesting that Tebow’s time with the Columbia Fireflies may be closer to an end than many thought. Mets beat writer Mike Puma of the New York Post first broke the news.
Mets have discussed promoting Tim Tebow within the minors, but will likely wait until midseason. He’s hitting .327 over his last 16 games.
— Mike Puma (@NYPost_Mets) May 12, 2017
Even the most ardent Tebow supporter probably wasn’t expecting this rapid of an ascent. The former Heisman winner has already proven to be a world-class athlete, but being really strong and fast doesn’t always translate on a baseball diamond. They obviously help, but neither trait guarantees you can hit a baseball.
But Tebow has certainly been hitting plenty of baseballs. Not only is he batting .327 in his last 16 games but, as of this writing, Tebow is hitting .250/.330/.370 in 112 plate appearances.
— Columbia Fireflies (@ColaFireflies) April 27, 2017
He also chipped in two home runs and 11 RBIs in his 28 games. His OPS has also been outstanding (.849 in his last 16 games, second on his team overall among players who qualify).
To say that Tebow is carving himself a real role on his baseball team is an understatement.
Thus, it’s only a natural progression for Tebow to earn a promotion within the Mets’ minor league affiliates. And “earn” is the operative word here. One of the most frequent critiques lobbed at Tebow during his baseball career has been that he is a glory hog stealing precious at-bats from more “deserving” Mets prospects. Well, the numbers speak for themselves; Tebow is outplaying a good number of the other Mets prospects right now.
The next level for Tebow would most likely be the Mets’ affiliate in the High-A Florida State League, the St. Lucie Mets. To call this a mere homecoming would undersell the incredible popularity of Tebow in Florida. It was at the University of Florida that Tebow first rose to national prominence. He dominated college football during his tenure there. In 2006, he led the Gators to a national championship. In 2007, he won the Heisman. In 2008, he won his second national championship. Tebow’s popularity in the Sunshine State is the stuff of legend.
Lest we forget, Tebow set Columbia, South Carolina, on fire with his popularity. It’s almost impossible to fathom what effect he could have on the St. Lucie Mets.
Perhaps people shouldn’t be surprised. While it’s undoubtedly true that Tebow’s career is that of a professional athlete and philanthropist, he has also made a career out of proving people wrong. Critics claimed he was a fullback masquerading as a quarterback in college. All he did was set a record for the most yards in a bowl game (throwing and rushing.) Then, when he went to the NFL, critics claimed he couldn’t throw. All he did was take a 1-4 Broncos team to the playoffs before hanging 316 yards (in the air) on the Pittsburgh Steelers en route to a playoff win. And now, when the world has decried his baseball career, he is on the verge of a promotion nobody saw coming.
If and when Tebow gets promoted, nobody should be surprised when he exceeds expectations again.
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