New York Mets GM Sandy Alderson told reporters he would be moving up outfielder Tim Tebow to St. Lucie.
Tebow is hitting .222/.311/.340 for the Low-A Columbia Fireflies this season with a 28.6% strikeout rate. All things considered, that is not awful for someone who really didn’t play any baseball since high school.
“I do think the fact that St. Lucie is our Spring Training home, he’s familiar with the surroundings, the circumstances there. I’m not sure how much of an additional challenge it will be, but it’s a step up … and we certainly think he can handle it,” Mets general manager Sandy Alderson told reporters in San Francisco.
There is likely some business aspects to consider. The St. Lucie Mets draw about 1,772 a night which is on par for a minor league team. Tebow has increased ticket sales by nearly 40% at home and increased by 80% to 120% on the road in the South Atlantic League.
The draw of Tebow will certainly be missed by Fireflies fans and Tebow fans alike. “Tim brought an incredible amount of experience and leadership to our clubhouse,” Fireflies president John Katz said in a statement Sunday. “His contributions, both on the field and in our community, have made a tremendous impact on our team, the City of Columbia and the entire South Atlantic League.”
The St. Lucie Mets have an off day on Monday so Tebow is expected to make his Florida State League debut on Tuesday at First Data Field.