Tebowmania will be heading to South Carolina this season.
Mets outfield prospect Tim Tebow will be assigned to the Columbia Fireflies to start the 2017 season. The low-A affiliate was the best option for Tebow according to the organization because of its full length season.
Mets general manager Sandy Alderson spoke to Newsday at length about Tebow, and the decision to send him to Columbia:
"“Sending him to a full season club is what we hoped to be able to do, and based on what he’s done in spring training, and his whole body of work since last fall, we feel comfortable with him going to Columbia.”"
This decision wasn’t as obvious to begin with, but given what Tebow has been able to do this spring, Alderson and his staff felt Columbia was the right decision.
"“We were concerned that it might be a stretch at some point, or could be a stretch, but what he’s done in spring training has convinced us that this is where he should go. And he’s prepared for it.”"
For all the distractions Tebow has supposedly brought to camp, he’s shown some ability to play. His .235 average going into Monday’s game against the Tigers isn’t great, but it’s still higher than some of his teammates in the outfield (hint: Jay Bruce, and Juan Lagares).
"“He’s obviously very athletic and he has adapted very quickly,” Alderson noted about the Heisman trophy winner. “His approach at the plate is very solid. He doesn’t chase pitches. People might say his swing is a little long but the swing is professional. When he’s made contact, it’s often been hard contact … Defensively, it’s still a work in progress but it’s adequate. He’s made some nice plays, again demonstrating the athleticism that everybody’s seen he has.”"
If there’s one thing we can all agree on it’s that Tebow is a machine when it comes to athleticism. The guy is in fantastic shape, and it’s showed this spring.
While none of us should expect Tebow to rise through the ranks quickly, anything is possible in the world of sports. He’ll be placed and used wherever his ability takes him, so if he plays well in low-A ball, maybe we see him at high-A or in Binghamton’s AA team at some point.
If you’re a fan of minor league baseball, this season might get extra interesting thanks to a guy named Tim.