WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — No less an authority on hitting than last season’s runner-up for National League MVP thinks Tim Tebow has some ability with a bat — he just needs more work.
Nationals second baseman and former Met Daniel Murphy said Friday at spring training that he recently spent some time working on batting with Tebow, the Heisman Trophy winner and former NFL quarterback who now is pursuing a baseball career. Tebow is expected to be in minor league camp with the Mets.
Murphy said he and Tebow live about 15 houses apart in Jacksonville but had never met. “He’s quite an impressive person,” Murphy said.
As for his assessment of Tebow’s skills with a bat, based on their hitting session at a Jacksonville high school?
“I think that the power is real. What he needs is at-bats,” Murphy said. “He needs 500, 600 plate appearances to try to make adjustments on the fly. It’s always interesting to see what happens when — he’s done all this work, and he’s improved greatly — you go from someone trying to hit your barrel to someone trying to not hit your barrel. He just needs that experience to pull from, which only a full season can give you.”
Murphy enjoys talking and thinking about hitting — and working on it with players, including at a clinic he runs with his brother for high schoolers from Jacksonville.
Tebow hit .194 in the Arizona Fall League, striking out 20 out of 70 plate appearances.