The 2017 minor-league season is roughly six weeks old, and through 31 games, quarterback-turned-Mets-outfield-prospect Tim Tebow is hitting .227/.309/.336 with two home runs in low Class A. He has struck out 34 times in 110 at-bats.
All things considered, Tebow's performance is actually kind of impressive. He's 29 and before last year the last time he played baseball competitively was in high school. That's an awfully long layoff. Tebow's natural athleticism is allowing him to hit over .200 in a full-season league.
Baseball America, the industry's leading source of prospect coverage, passed along a Tebow scouting report from a major-league scout. The scout did have some nice things to say about Tebow -- "Tebow shows some bat speed," "Tebow has slightly above-average raw power," "Tebow has unbelievable makeup." -- though the overall assessment was not good. From the scouting report:
I believe Tebow is an organizational player. I do not think he is a major leaguer. But if he progresses like he has at low Class A and continues to hit at other levels, then if not this September, it will be next September—if the Mets are out of playoff contention—that he will (receive a callup), just as a marketing, public relations thing.
But if you are looking at him, without looking at those things, he is a mid-level organizational player. I would not recommend him to our club because we try to scout to build a championship club. He does not check those boxes for me.
An organizational player is a non-prospect minor leaguer. It's a player who fills out the roster around the actual prospects because hey, someone has to play those positions. Not even the deepest farm systems field teams full of major-league prospects at every minor league level. Many clubs use late-round draft picks on players who will provide quality organizational depth around the prospects.
The scout notes Tebow's undoing is his pitch recognition, or lack thereof, which isn't surprising. He has been away from baseball for a long time, and developing a strong grasp of the strike zone takes time. Being unable to tell balls from strikes, and determine which pitches to swing at and which ones to let go, is difficult even for full-time players, let alone players who have been away from the game for a decade.
That said, the Tebow effect is very real.. People want to see the guy play. , which makes sense. The team does not own its low Class A affiliate, the Columbia Fireflies. It does own the high Class A St. Lucie Mets, however. Moving Tebow up to St. Lucie means all the extra ticket and merchandise revenue would go right to the Mets.