In a way, Tim Tebow’s evolution as a baseball player is hard to explain. Who gets better as the competition improves? But to hear Tebow explain it, it makes sense.
“I think I’m more comfortable seeing more pitches,” Tebow said, via Jon Santucci, TCPalm. “Playing baseball for longer, I think that helps. Also (hitting coach) Luis (Natera) and (manager) Chad (Kreuter), getting to work with them every day and just what we’re doing out there — taking pitches, seeing, tracking. I feel more comfortable with my swing, feel more comfortable with my game plan I’m having against pitchers and then just playing more baseball helps, too.”
It’s shown in the numbers. Tebow has actually demonstrated a decent eye throughout the year. His .311 OBP with the Single-A Columbia Fireflies was nothing to write home about, but not bad considering that his batting average was .220. But that, along with the fact that the power wasn’t really there (.336 slugging and three home runs in 64 games) made his promotion to the Advanced-A St. Lucie Mets seem like nothing more than a publicity stunt.
It just hasn’t worked that way.
In only 32 games in St. Lucie, Tebow has already matched his Columbia home run total. His .320/.407/.520 slash line isn’t just a vast improvement, but it’s darn good for essentially anyone’s standard.
It’s important to remember that spring training was Tebow’s first competitive baseball experience since high school He was bound to be a bit rusty.
Dismissing the strong play in St. Lucie as a small sample size would be easy. But, while it’s not entirely baseless, it’s not the full story, either.