Arizona Fall League playing is coming to a conclusion this week, and Mets hopeful Tim Tebow of the Scottsdale Scorpions has seen his season come to an end. He was 1-for-2 with two walks and a run scored on Thursday, closing on a high note.
As a reminder, Tebow was playing with baseball's top prospects. This competition is as difficult as it gets other than playing in the actual majors. Given that he had 12 years without playing baseball and then only instructionals before hitting the AFL, any positives that came would have to be considered very impressive. Tebow is an impressive athlete, as we already knew.
Let's run through the positives and negatives to his short season.
Tebow managed a walk-off single on Nov. 8:
Also, while the overall line is bad, Tebow got better as he went along. In his last 11 games, Tebow was 9-for-32, good for a .281 average. He also drew eight walks in that time, so the on-base percentage was an excellent .425. That's a small sample size, but he definitely closed on a high note.
Tebow hit .194/.296/.242 in 70 plate appearances. So, yeah, that's bad. It's not horrible, though, given the circumstances, and that OBP has to be considered encouraging. What isn't is the lack of power. Many scouts raved about Tebow's raw power, but that doesn't matter if it's not game power, and that remains the question. He only had three doubles and never homered. Sure, 62 at-bats isn't a huge sample size, and he was facing some of the best pitching prospects baseball has to offer, but surely the Mets would have liked to see at least one gopher ball.
Striking out in 20 of his 62 at-bats is pretty terrible. Not all too shocking, but we shouldn't sugarcoat it either.
Also, he didn't win many over with his defense. Though he probably should have been called off, this wasn't encouraging:
And then there was Tebow slamming into the wall during his first game, providing an enduring picture for haters.
In all, though, given Tebow's marginal OBP by the end and drastic improvement over the final two weeks, he should head into the offseason feeling confident that he's got something to build on here. The majors still seem like a long shot, but it's not out of the question that he eventually makes The Show as a pinch hitter.