Since the exact moment Tim Tebow signed with the New York Mets, one of the main questions on everyone’s mind was where Tebow was going to start the 2017 season. We now know the answer.
The New York Mets have announced Tebow will be wearing his familiar number 15 as a member of the Columbia Fireflies.
Naturally, with the draw Tebow is as well as the intanglibles he provides, the Fireflies are thrilled with his addition. Fireflies President John Katz said, “Tebow’s story is so compelling – from the BCS National Championships and the NFL playoffs to reinventing himself as a professional baseball player. His humility, faith and unwavering commitment to better himself will bring a new dynamic to our clubhouse. Having a player that has achieved his level of success on two big stages will ultimately pay huge dividends for our players as they pursue their dreams of playing for the New York Mets.” (mlb.com)
Katz also added, “Baseball fans, sports fans and Tim Tebow fans will likely come from around the southeast to see him play. We expect this to add to the energy at Spirit Communications Park and around downtown Columbia, especially during our opening weekend.”
To some, Tebow being assigned to a full season affiliate was a surprise. Tebow has not played a season of baseball at any level since high school. While we have arguably seen some growth in him since he first played in the Instructional Leagues, Tebow is still quite raw. Surprisingly, sending Tebow to a full season affiliate was the plan all along.
As Sandy Alderson said, “Sending him to a full season club is what we hoped to be able to do. And based on what he’s done in spring training, and his whole body of work since last fall, we feel comfortable with him going to Columbia.” (Marc Carig, Newsday).
At this point, it is not known what role Tebow will play with the Fireflies. There is a good case for him to be either an everyday left fielder, a bench player, or a platoon player. Frankly, until we see more from him, we do not know. The only thing we do know is Tebow is now just like every Firefly in that he is a minor leaguer trying to improve his game and eventually get to the major leagues. To that end, there is some hope for Tebow.
Certainly, Terry Collins has some hope as he told Newsday, “No one works harder than Tim did this Spring. He was a pleasure to have around. What he wants is to improve. I’m sure he’ll be a great influence on the kids in Columbia and the fans will enjoy watching him play.