Posted on August 23, 2016 by Bryan Zarpentine
Earlier this month, former Heisman Trophy winner and NFL quarterback Tim Tebow announced his intentions to attempt a career in professional baseball. On Tuesday, Tebow’s representatives announced that he will hold a formal showcase in front of Major League Baseball teams in Los Angeles on August 30. All 30 major league clubs have been notified and invited to the showcase, with a source telling ESPN’s Adam Schefter that around 20 teams are expected to send scouts or other representatives to watch Tebow.
Tebow’s representatives say the former NFL quarterback turned ESPN commentator has been working out in Arizona for nearly a year preparing for his baseball showcase. Tebow was an all-state player in the state of Florida during his junior season in high school. Many expected Tebow to be selected in the MLB Draft the following year. However, he did not play baseball his senior year of high school. Instead, Tebow chose to focus on football and had a storied career at the University of Florida before becoming a first round NFL draft pick with the Denver Broncos.
A year ago, Tebow was in training camp with the Philadelphia Eagles but did not make the team. That appears to be his final effort at playing professional football. Since then, Tebow has shifted his focus towards a career in baseball, reportedly working out for the Los Angeles Dodgers before the season, with the team showing at least some interest in him. The left-handed quarterback in football plays the outfield in baseball, throwing and hitting left handed.
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Working out with Tebow in Arizona has been former big league catcher Chad Moeller, who believes Tebow has the tools to end up on a big league roster. “He’s obviously a physical player,” Moeller said earlier this month. “He’s going to be a power hitter. The thing I think gives him the best chance to succeed is that he can drive the ball the other way very well and hits it very hard. He has good discipline at the plate.”
Moeller sent video of Tebow’s swing to New York Mets hitting coach Kevin Long, who offered the following evaluation: “His swing is very simple. Not a whole lot of head or body movement. Chad and Tim did a nice job of simplifying and putting his swing together. It’s short and explosive.”
New York Jets wide receiver Eric Decker, who was a teammate of Tebow’s with the Broncos, has voiced his support, expressing confidence that Tebow will at least sign a minor league contract with a team. Decker played both football and baseball in college and was twice taken in the MLB Draft but never signed.
Another NFL quarterback with baseball experience, Russell Wilson, said about Tebow’s baseball attempt: “Hope he can hit a curveball,” adding, “baseball’s pretty hard.” Wilson played two seasons of minor league baseball with the Colorado Rockies before he was drafted by the Seattle Seahawks and chose to focus on football.
Considering the amount of people Tebow would likely draw to the ballpark, whether he’s in the majors or the minors, will certainly help him land a contract with a club. However, at age 29, few teams will consider signing him unless they think he can contribute at the major league level relatively soon. Despite some optimism from those around him, this makes Tebow getting signed far from certain. We will have to wait until next week’s showcase to see what happens and whether or not Tebow actually has a future in baseball.