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After instructional league, Mets will play it by ear with Tim Tebow

Former NFL quarterback Tim Tebow hits during batting

Former NFL quarterback Tim Tebow hits during batting practice for baseball scouts and the media in Los Angeles on Aug. 30, 2016. Credit: AP / Chris Carlson

Tim Tebow will take the first step of his professional baseball odyssey on Sept. 18, when he’s expected for instructional league at the Mets’ complex in Port St. Lucie, Florida. Tebow, 29, will begin the process of knocking the rust off his baseball skills, which he last used as a high school junior in 2005 before giving up the sport for football.

The instructional league, which will run through Oct. 8, features players from the lower levels of the organization, and much like spring training, the experience is centered on games against players from other teams.

Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said he will consult with Tebow about what to do after that. “The next step may be organized baseball. If we can get Tim to the Arizona Fall League and we think it’s appropriate, if there’s a winter league that we think is appropriate,” Alderson said. “But we may decide that additional, more personalized instruction is appropriate over the course of the fall rather than something organized, because it’s about development, not necessarily just getting at-bats or playing time.”

Winter leagues also operate in the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and Venezuela. But wherever he winds up, Tebow’s winter will be devoted to making up for lost time. “I’m going to put in the work,” he said. “And with great coaches, I feel like I can just improve.”

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