Tebow Time in Syracuse has been underwhelming, casting doubt upon whether a former Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback will take the final step and complete a journey to the Mets.
Tim Tebow entered Wednesday with a .158/.244/.222 slash line with one homer and 14 RBIs for the Mets’ Triple-A affiliate. Earlier in the week, he recorded only his second multi-hit game of the season. Tebow had struck out 67 times in 158 at-bats for Syracuse.
“I think the effort, the energy, all those things, I don’t think anybody can question,” Mets assistant general manager Allard Baird said. “He has struggled. I think he would be the first one to tell you that. We are trying to continue to work on approach, get him in a good position to hit, that’s an on-going thing.”
A scout who recently watched the 31-year-old outfielder questioned whether Tebow is still affected by the broken hamate bone he sustained in his right hand last summer, for which he underwent surgery.
“That to me is something that needs to be thought about,” the scout said. “I have seen players that have played a lot longer than he has and come down with that injury and take a while to regain the strength in that. He’s being pounded in with fastballs and I think that is probably one of the reasons why they are doing that and obviously he hasn’t responded.”
Tebow was selected to the Eastern League All-Star team last season at Double-A Binghamton, where he posted a respectable .273/.336/.399 slash line with six homers and 36 RBIs in 84 games.
The scout surmised the broken hamate bone and better competition have combined to stall Tebow’s progress.
“I just think he’s reached his top, his zenith, as far as Triple-A,” the scout said. “I don’t think he’s a major league player, but I think he works extremely hard and he will run into some fastballs, and when I saw him he was really getting tied up inside and just striking out a lot and not making contact.
“I don’t think this is a show, because Tim Tebow is an athlete and athletes are athletes. He’s strong, he’s got strength and I am not going to take away the fact he is coming off a hamate. If he turns out to be an organizational Double-A or Triple-A player, he’s not the only one who would be that.”
Baird described Tebow as “a work in progress” defensively. The assistant GM was asked about Tebow’s chances of still getting to the Mets.
“The hardest thing to do in this game is play at the major league level,” Baird said. “You constantly work with him every day like our staff is doing and you constantly evaluate him every day too.”