To put it mildly, the naysayers haven’t been accurate in their jabs toward Tim Tebow and his baseball career.
The former NFL player has been playing at quite a high level this month as a minor league baseball outfielder for New York Mets affiliate Binghamton, the New York Post reported.
The 30-year-old’s plate discipline, pitch recognition and opposite-field power have all seen major improvement, according to coaches on opposing teams.
“He looks like a different guy than last year,” Double-A Hartford manager Warren Schaeffer told the Post.
Tommy, thanks for all your help and for being an amazing bat boy! Your joy is contagious! pic.twitter.com/HXWz9CocjF
— Tim Tebow (@TimTebow) June 22, 2018
Schaeffer said his team is having a “tough time against Tim Tebow.”
“He hits fastballs well. He’s a strong kid,” Schaeffer said. “His approach has gotten a lot better. He’s spitting on pitches now he wasn’t early on this year. You can tell he works hard.”
Welcome to Binghamton, @TimTebow!
— Rumble Ponies (@RumblePoniesBB) March 28, 2018
In addition, Tebow’s swing has gotten more fluid, free and easy, John Schneider, the manager of Double-A New Hampshire, told the Post.
“To hold your own after being out of it for however long he had been, you got to give the guy credit,” Schneider said. “Baseball is a hard thing and hitting is a really hard thing. To show improvement and hold his own here in Double-A is pretty impressive.”
Tyler Bashlor, a reliever for the Mets who just got called up to the big leagues from Binghamton, said Tebow is a “great teammate” with “incredible work ethic,” often putting in extra time for his swing.
“He’s there for the right reasons,” Bashlor said. “He’s trying to do what we all strive to do — make it here.”
Double-A Harrisburg manager Matt LeCroy said Tebow is beginning to excel at a sport that “a lot of people probably thought he could not do.”
“If you can play in this league, you can probably give yourself a chance to get up to the major leagues,” said LeCroy, who played in in Major League Baseball himself.
Tebow is proving to be a natural athlete after leaving his embattled NFL career for minor league baseball, where he is now thriving since signing with the Mets in 2016. To solidify his commitment even further, Tebow declined to return to the sport that made him a household name.
“He [Tim Tebow] said, ‘Coach, I’m gonna keep swinging the bat and see what happens,’ ” Steve Spurrier said. “I told him we’d have a No. 15 down in Orlando waiting for him.” https://t.co/ihMVtGgBm0
— Florida Times-Union (@jaxdotcom) June 27, 2018
Tebow reportedly declined an offer from fellow University of Florida football great Steve Spurrier to play for Orlando’s inaugural season in the Alliance of American Football, which Spurrier will coach, the Florida Times-Union reported.
However, Spurrier made it clear that Tebow’s favorite jersey number is up for grabs should he change his mind.
“He said, ‘Coach, I’m gonna keep swinging the bat and see what happens,’” Spurrier said on The Paul Finebaum Show on Friday. “I told him we’d have a No. 15 down in Orlando waiting for him.”
(H/T: New York Post)