Tim Tebow has the support of a six-time All-Star and former American League MVP in his baseball exploits, though the source of that support has a controversial past.
Former Oakland A’s slugger Jose Canseco both complimented and disparaged Tebow, who is in spring training with the New York Mets, in an interview with TMZ Sports.
“He needs help,” Canseco said of the former Heisman Trophy winner. “I just saw him. The swing looks so mechanical, so bad. I’m surprised nobody’s helping him out.”
Enter Canseco, who has 462 home runs to his name and twice led the AL in long balls but admitted he used steroids during his career.
He said he could help out Tebow and translate his strength into becoming a premier power hitter.
“The good thing about it is he’s left-handed, No. 1. … He’s strong, which is a big advantage,” Canseco said. “He can run.
“I can definitely turn him into a power hitter just working on his technique and his attitude. His swing is really too short and too rotational to create power.”
When asked about Tebow’s ceiling as a power hitter, he said he could make the former Florida Gator essentially a left-handed version of himself, minus all of the baggage.
“If you look at his physicality, he’s like 6-4, 6-3, 240-50 pounds, so he’s extremely strong, extremely physical,” Canseco said. “If he worked with me, I could easily get him up to, at the major league level, 35 to 45 home runs. At the Triple-A level, he could hit 50.”
Hitting 45 home runs in the majors might be a wee bit optimistic seeing as just one player, the Athletics’ Khris Davis, topped 45 last season.
Hitting 50 home runs in Triple-A is even more of a long shot given that just one player has hit 50 at that level since 1962 (Ron Kittle).
But Canseco is taking his shot, and working with Tebow might be the only way the former ballplayer gets back into baseball’s good graces.
Canseco has had a number of publicity stunts over the years, including various reality shows and participating in celebrity boxing, but he seems genuine in his desire to work with Tebow.
“I’ve been watching his career for a while. I’m a big fan of his. It looks like no one has really worked with him and taught him the art of power hitting,” Canseco said.
Tebow, without the services of Canseco, has two hits in nine at-bats with the Mets this spring.
Last year, he hit .273 with six home runs and 36 RBIs while playing for the Binghamton Rumble Ponies, the Mets’ Double-A affiliate in the Eastern League.
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