Apparently, the Tim Tebow experiment isn’t over yet. The New York Mets have formally invited the former football player to spring training.
However, general manager Brodie Van Wagenen clearly thinks Tebow’s presence will still attract a lot of fans to the team’s spring training complex beginning next month.
According to Anthony DiComo of MLB.com, the 32-year-old will headline the Mets’ list of non-roster invitees who have been invited to spring training.
Mets spring non-roster invitees:
LHP David Peterson, Kevin Smith
RHP Matt Blackham, Ryley Gilliam, Stephen Nogosek, Pedro Payano, Francisco Rios, Adonis Uceta
C Austin Bossart, Patrick Mazeika, David Rodriguez
OF Tim Tebow, Ryan Cordell, Johneshwy Fargas
INF Jake Hager
— Anthony DiComo (@AnthonyDiComo) January 9, 2020
During this past season at Triple-A, Tebow played in 77 games and recorded 10 doubles, four home runs, 19 RBIs, .092 ISO, .255 BABIP, 26 wRC+ along with an embarrassing slash line of .163/.240/.255/.495 as well.
In addition, the left-handed hitter also generated just a 7.6% walk rate and a brutal 37.1% strikeout rate. Along with his terrible plate discipline, one of Tebow’s biggest flaws has been the high number of ground balls he hits.
Over his 239 at-bats during the 2019 season, Tebow produced a 51.1% GB rate compared to just a 25.2% FB rate. While he did endure a 4.6% decline involving his GB rate and a 1.8% increase with his FB rate during this past season, Tebow will continue to struggle at the plate until those rates significantly improve.
Time is also starting to run out for Tebow to eventually make his major league debut. The former Denver Broncos quarterback will be entering his age-32 season and is coming off a failed Triple-A season.
Based on his age and the numbers above, Tebow will likely never earn a promotion to the majors. Furthermore, he will be lucky to even still be apart of the organization if he produces results similar to his 2019 performance.
By inviting Tebow to spring training, Van Wagenen and the Mets are clearly making one last-ditch effort to suck the final ounce of fandom he has left to his name.
Based on Tebow’s success with the Florida Gators from 2007-2009, this tactic will likely continue to draw fans to the Mets’ spring training facility in Port St. Lucie. But, don’t be surprised if Tebow is released from the Mets’ roster later this season.