PHILADELPHIA — Tebow Time isn’t over.
The Mets are expecting outfielder Tim Tebow back in 2019 for a third season of professional baseball, assistant general manager John Ricco said, adding that the former NFL quarterback — and current ESPN college football analyst — hasn’t given the organization any reason to believe otherwise.
Tebow’s 2018 ended in late July, when a broken hamate bone in his right hand required surgery. But prior to that, Tebow, 31, seemed to be coming into his own with Double-A Binghamton, hitting .317 with a .348 OBP and .429 slugging percentage in June and July.
“I’m sure that’s his last impression of himself,” Ricco said. “I’d be surprised if he didn’t want to continue.”
Since signing with the Mets two years ago, Tebow has steadily climbed the minor-league ladder, performing better against higher levels of competition and even playing in the Eastern League All-Star Game in July. He still struck out too much (34.6 percent of his plate appearances) and didn’t walk enough (7.4 percent) in 2018, but showed increased power and contact skills.
Tebow finished with underwhelming numbers: .273/.336/.399, six homers, 36 RBIs in 84 games.
In discussing his goal of making it to the majors, Tebow told Newsday in May: “It’s something I’m all-in on, working as hard as I can and making as many improvements as I can.”
As part of a standard minor-league contract, Tebow remains under team control and doesn’t need to formally re-up. He stands to start the year with Triple-A Syracuse, which is owned and operated by the Mets.