Tim Tebow was demoted to the New York Mets’ minor league camp on Tuesday. The former Heisman winner has endured a 1-for-18 start to spring training with 11 strikeouts
Former NFL quarterback-turned struggling outfielder Tim Tebow is on his way back to the minor leagues.
The New York Mets reassigned the 30-year old to their minor league camp on Tuesday after a 1-for-18 start with 11 strikeouts in major league spring training.
Tebow said the decision made sense to him.
‘It’s not like I’m surprised,’ Tebow told reporters. ‘It’s not like, “Oh my gosh.”‘
Tebow will play in minor league games while the Mets analyze which level he should play at in 2018.
The former Heisman Trophy winner split last season between low Single-A Columbia (South Carolina) and high Single-A Port St. Lucie (Florida), batting .226 with eight homers and 52 RBIs.
Mets general manager Sandy Alderson raised eyebrows prior to spring training when he said Tebow ‘will play in the major leagues.’
Tebow’s first Major League spring training got off to a rough start when he injured his foot on a sprinkler head in the outfield at the Mets’ complex in Port St. Lucie, Florida.
Ultimately Tebow will likely return to either of the Mets’ Single-A affiliates or be sent to the team’s Double-A affiliate in Binghamton, New York.
The 30-year-old Tebow split last season between low Single-A Columbia (South Carolina) and high Single-A Port St. Lucie (Florida) and batted .226 with eight homers and 52 RBIs
Tebow, a national sensation at the University of Florida before moving on to the Denver Broncos and New York Jets, had last played competitive baseball in high school before signing with the Mets and playing in the Arizona Fall League in 2016.
He was previously an All-State baseball player at Nease High School in Ponte Vedra, Florida.
There is one good reason to believe that Tebow will play in the Major Leagues some day: Baseball teams occasionally promote newsworthy players after the rosters expand in September in hopes of gaining some publicity.
In 1997, for instance, the Cincinnati Reds called up Pete Rose Jr. – the son of franchise hero, baseball’s all-time hit leader, and disgraced former manager Pete Rose. The following year the Reds promoted Stephen Larkin, the younger brother of All-Star shortstop Barry Larkin.
And if nothing else, Tebow can draw a crowd.
In 2017 – his first full summer of minor league baseball – Tebow helped two New York Mets Single-A affiliates record new records in ticket sales.
First, the Columbia Fireflies saw a 21 percent increase in ticket sales, which translates to an additional 54,000 fans over the previous season, according to ESPN. Then, after being promoted to the Florida State League on June 28, Tebow’s presence pushed the St. Lucie Mets’ attendance up by 35,803 fans, a 37 percent improvement from last year.
Tebow had a somewhat successful season under center for the Denver Broncos in 2011, going 7-4 and winning a playoff game against Pittsburgh that season
And when Tebow was on the road, opposing home teams saw an a increase of 2,591 more fans a game than they averaged against other foes, according to ESPN.
It was probably the most interest minor league baseball had received since Jordan played, and he had the advantage of playing in larger stadiums and in larger markets than Tebow.
A spike in attendance made Tebow one of the best values in baseball last year. Despite making only $10,000, Tebow was worth nearly $1.6 million in additional ticket, parking, and concession sales, according to a valuation by Baseball America
The Chicago Bulls legend pushed the Birmingham Barons’ attendance to 467,686 fans in 1994, according to ESPN. In fact, the 6,884 fans per game the Barons drew that season remains a franchise and Southern League record.
For Tebow, the sales spike made him one of the best values in baseball. Despite making only $10,000 for the year, Tebow was worth nearly $1.6 million in additional ticket, parking, and concession sales, according to an early-season valuation by Baseball America.
Tebow was once a first-round pick in the NFL Draft back, getting selected with the 25th overall pick by the Denver Broncos in 2010.
He even had a successful season under center in 2011, going 7-4 and winning a playoff game against Pittsburgh that season.
However, accuracy issues limited his potential as a quarterback and he ultimately failed to win the starting job with the New York Jets in 2012. Tebow went on to have brief stints with the New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles, but never officially played for either team in a regular season game.
Tebow has maintained his role as college football analyst for SEC Network.
Tebow won a Heisman trophy and a pair of national titles at the University of Florida