Columbia Fireflies outfielder Tim Tebow, a former football player, has looked like a real baseball player over his last 16 games. He’s posted a .849 OPS over that stretch and raised his slash line to a respectable .250/.330/.370. The New York Mets are understandably over the moon at this development and there’s talk Tebow will be promoted, according to the New York Post.
According to a club source, there has been discussion about moving the former Heisman Trophy winner to a higher level within the minors, but such a jump likely won’t occur until after the All-Star Game in midseason.
Yes, it’s very likely Tebow will move even closer to his dream of becoming a major leaguer. And if that happens, it will be because he came close to earning it, or at least closer than many predicted.
Allow me to be a giant buzzkill here, and not just because I’m so dug in on this issue. Tebow’s .330 on-base percentage isn’t half-bad but there are glaring deficiencies even after this recent stretch of success.
Tebow’s complete lack of extra-base power is stark considering his 6-foot-3, 255-pound frame. He’s produced all of four doubles, one triple and two home runs while playing a corner outfield position. He hasn’t homered in his last 25 games while striking out in 29 of his 100 official at-bats.
Essentially, he’s a high-risk, low-reward option.
I’ll give credit where it’s due. Tebow has performed capably. It is not an insult to say he’s looked like an average Single-A player over his first 28 games. To do what he’s doing after a decade off is impressive. At this point, he’s already proven those predicting disaster wrong.
It’s worth asking if a similar performance would be cause for call-up if his name were not Tim Tebow. It would be worth asking no matter his performance. The answer to that question, right now, isn’t a slam dunk.
If Tebow stays hot — or if he cools off dramatically — that answer will be clearer.