Tim Tebow, who the New York Mets admit is a publicity stunt, has looked an awful lot like a baseball player since being promoted to Single-A St. Lucie. He hit his second home run in nine games last night and collected his seventh RBI with the club. He’s gone 9-for-25 since the unearned promotion and even made an above-average defensive play. Perhaps most impressive is that he’s striking out every fifth at-bat instead of every third at-bat.
In short, he’s been legitimately — gulp –good, in a small sample size. This, of course, is exactly what the New York Mets want. A change in venues changed the conversation. Look at those stats above. They are far more impressive than the ones in aggregate.
For instance, Tebow is still hitting a paltry .234 with five homers in 73 games. His slugging percentage is still a measly .368, a far cry from what a 6-foot-5, 250-pound corner outfielder should be producing. He is still yet to steal a base and is a reliable swing-and-miss guy.
But don’t look deeply into the facts. Instead, focus on the shining thing, the newest shooting star to tear through the minor leagues.
To be candid, this sudden offensive explosion should be welcomed by Tebow fans and those who respect the game of baseball alike. Only the naive believed he wouldn’t be forced through the ranks and onto the Major League roster regardless of his performance. Only a true cynic will dismiss him if, somehow, he continues this blistering pace.
Tebow has been given opportunities he didn’t fairly earn. But if he starts capitalizing on them, his ascension will be a lot more palatable — and feel more legitimate. He’s a polarizing figure and opinions are deeply entrenched. If he keeps putting his best foot forward, some feet may come shuffling off their long-held line.