In the biggest step of his fledgling professional baseball career, former NFL quarterback and current Mets outfielder Tim Tebow will report to the Arizona Fall League on Sunday and play for Scottsdale, per a club announcement.
“We want Tim to play in more games to continue developing his skills on the field while facing advanced competition,” said Mets general manager Sandy Alderson.
On Sept. 8, just over a week after he held a showcase for 28 of Major League Baseball’s 30 teams (neither the Cubs nor Athletics sent representatives to his workout), Tebow inked a minor league deal featuring a $100K signing bonus with the Mets. The 29-year-old, who previously hadn’t played baseball since high school, then began his pro career in the Florida Instructional League and hit .286/.375/.500 with a home run and two walks in three games. Tebow skipped Friday and Saturday workouts in the instructional league because of his college football broadcasting commitments with ESPN and the SEC Network, and the ex-Florida Gator will do the same in the AFL, according to Vince Lara-Cinisomo of Baseball America.
“Working in the Instructional League has been a lot of fun and productive,” said Tebow. “We worked hard and I was able to see a lot of pitches and work on different things. There was great coaching and I tried to improve every day. I plan to use the Fall League as an opportunity to improve. It’s a blessing and a great opportunity.”
In going to the AFL, the two-time national champion and 2007 Heisman Trophy winner will have a chance to further prove his worth as a baseball player against much better competition than he has faced to this point. Tebow will also play for the same AFL team basketball legend Michael Jordan suited up for during his brief foray into baseball.