New York Mets outfield prospect Tim Tebow has a lot of detractors, as many people doubt the 30-year-old is actually good enough to succeed in professional baseball.
However, the Heisman Trophy winner-turned-NFL-quarterback-turned-baseball outfielder also has a lot of people in his corner, including someone who knows a thing or two about hitting — former MLB slugger Gary Sheffield.
Sheffield, a nine-time All-Star who hit 509 home runs in his career, has been a Tebow supporter for quite some time now.
Back in 2016, when it was still hard to imagine Tebow actually playing professional baseball, Sheffield was one of the first people to say he thought the former quarterback could make it to the big leagues.
And prior to the 2017 season, Tebow’s first with the Mets organization, he trained with Sheffield.
“He’s awesome,” Tebow told Newsday at the time, referring to Sheffield. “Gary’s a good friend and he’s just always been a supporter. He’s one of the best to ever do it, so he’s been very helpful.”
According to the Hartford Courant’s Dom Amore, to this day, Tebow and Sheffield remain in constant contact.
Sheffield apparently sends Tebow frequent text messages telling him he’s late on fastballs. And Tebow normally responds, “I can’t swing like you.”
Tebow might not be able to swing the bat like Sheffield, but whatever he’s been doing lately seems to be working.
Prior to last week, Tebow had been quiet at the plate ever since his first at-bat for the Double-A Binghamton Rumble Ponies, when he launched a home run. Then, on Thursday, he blasted an opposite-field three-run home run. As if that wasn’t enough, Tebow went deep again in his very next game on Saturday (Friday’s contest was rained out).
Tebow now has three home runs on the season and 12 runs batted in. At first glance, his .247 batting average might not seem great, but it’s a considerable improvement from last year, when he hit just .220.
It remains to be seen what’s next for Tebow. Will he get promoted to Triple-A? Will the struggling Mets, who have lost eight of their last nine games, opt to call him up to the big leagues in an effort to sell tickets?
When Tebow first announced that he was going to pursue a career in professional baseball, it seemed unlikely that he would ever makes it to the majors.
But in February, during spring training, Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said he thought Tebow “will play in the major leagues.”
For now, Tebow is best served continuing to work on his game in Double-A. What happens in the future, though, is anyone’s guess.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.