It looks like I missed my chance to see Tim Tebow play minor league baseball. The New York Mets have promoted the former Heisman Trophy winner from Columbia (South Carolina) in the South Atlantic League (“Low A”) to St. Lucie in the Florida State League (“High A).
Tebow’s performance for Columbia didn’t warrant the move. He was batting .222, with an on-base percentage of .311 and a slugging percentage of .340.
However, the promotion makes sense financially. The Mets don’t own the Columbia team, but they do own St. Lucie. Thus, they will benefit from the boost in attendance that Tebow’s presence will generate. Tebow, of course, played his college football for the University of Florida, so the buzz accompanying him on the Florida circuit will be even greater than that generated by his presence in states further north.
From a baseball standpoint, the move isn’t ridiculous. Tebow is 29 years old. The Mets might as well find out now whether he can stay afloat against “High A” pitching, while they reap the financial reward of having him play for a team they own.
And it’s not like Tebow will be stealing at-bats from a top prospect. Two of St. Lucie’s corner outfielders are batting below .200.
So the move is a win for the Mets and a win for Tebow’s legion of fans in Florida. As for fans within reasonable driving distance of “Sally League” towns, the Tebow devotees among them will already have taken advantage of the opportunity to see their hero play.