Tim Tebow is a master of deception. After dominating for the Florida Gators as a running back disguised as a quarterback, the Heisman Trophy winner became a first-round pick in the 2010 NFL Draft. When he flamed out of the NFL after three seasons, Tebow took up baseball after not playing since high school. His smiling face filled the seats at every level of the New York Mets organization, and this season, he’s climbed up to Mets’ Triple-A affiliate, the Syracuse Mets.
But that kind-hearted, “Johnny Be Good” routine isn’t fooling us anymore. Tebow’s being exposed by real baseball players and is in the middle of the worst seasons by anyone in the minor leagues. Tebow’s microscopic .156 batting average and .239 on-base percentage both rank dead last in the International League. He’s struck out 53 times in 128 plate appearances.
At least Tebow still hasn’t lost his good boy attitude, though.
Tebow stepped in to play peacekeeper during the Mets’ recent game against the New York Yankees affiliate Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders. Scranton’s Mike Ford hit a home run to break the game’s tie in the seventh inning, then Mets reliever Arquimedes Caminero plunked Breyvic Valeras on the very next at-bat. A benches-clearing brawl ensued.
And who should wind up right in the middle of it at the very end, separating the two teams, and probably asking each other to kindly shake hands? The unmistakable No. 15 jersey you know as Tim Tebow.
The Mets’ Caminero and Danny Espinosa were ejected. Valeras and Logan Morrison of the RailRiders were both ejected as well, according to Conor Foley of the Times-Tribune.
Tebow’s All-Star season with the Double-A level Binghamton Rumble Ponies (Yeah, they’re real) is a long-forgotten memory. Tebow’s hit only one home run this season as the Mets’ starting left fielder and continues to get exposed. It’s impressive the 31-year-old has made it this far considering how few baseball players actually reach the Triple-A level, but he’s more of a sideshow on this team than anything else.
I mean, Tebow struck out looking at an 88 mph fastball (some MLB pitchers throw their change-up that hard) against the Buffalo Bison’s Jordan Patterson.
For the record, Jordan Patterson is an outfielder who’d never pitched in a professional baseball game before.
I really thought Tebow Time was coming to the major leagues. Tebow might not be a legitimate MLB prospect, but his name alone, and the fact that he had a decent season in 2018, could have carried him into a role with the New York Mets this year. But unless he figures out how to get out of this historically bad slump, he’ll just be another minor leaguer who never made the big time.
Then again, I doubt many minor league baseball players have a Heisman Trophy sitting on their mantle back home.