Better known for his college football prowess and brief but intrigue-filled NFL career, former quarterback Tim Tebow is stepping onto the diamond today in an effort to show that he is worth developing as a corner outfielder. It’s questionable whether he can make the transition at the age of 29, which is about the time that many top major leaguers are reaching free agency. You can read more background and details of today’s showcase right here.
Here are the latest notes before scouts get their first look:
- Tebow’s undertaking to pursue a late-breaking baseball career grew from a side consideration into a full-blown effort, ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick writes. While Tebow has begun to make believers out of some of those who have worked with him — including former MLB backstop Chad Moeller and long-time big league pitcher David Aardsma — he still has some work to do in convincing scouts and front offices. But Crasnick explains that there are some in the baseball ops world who are genuinely intrigued by a player who did turn some heads back in his high school days — if mostly for his pure athletic ability and evident leadership skills. Those inclined to learn more about Tebow’s unique quest would do well to read all of Crasnick’s detailed, rather interesting piece.
- Even before he hits the field today, Tebow has drawn an offer from a respected Venezuelan winter league team, the Aguilas del Zulia, according to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports. The team’s general manager, Luis Amaro — brother of former Phillies executive and current Red Sox coach Ruben Amaro Jr. — says that Tebow is “a great talent.” While it remains to be seen whether his athletic ability can fully translate, Amaro says it’s worth finding out: “I know baseball is a hard game,” he said, “but he’ll either adjust and show he’s ready to play pro ball or not. I think it’s low risk, high reward for Zulia.”
- Certainly, a Venezuelan winter ball assignment wouldn’t be the equivalent of leaping to the majors, but it represents a stiff test for any player. Many current and hopeful big leaguers hone their skills there and in other winter ball settings. Notably, too, Aardsma says that he believes Tebow is capable of reaching the Double-A level as soon as the 2017 season, the veteran reliever told Anthony McCarron of the New York Daily News.