The summer of Tim Tebow turns a new page tonight with his highly-anticipated debut with the New York Mets’ High-A affiliate, the St. Lucie Mets.
Fans are showing up in droves to see the former Gator quarterback’s debut with the team Tuesday night.
The Tebow Effect pic.twitter.com/19DYG30ARK
— Dave Hyde (@davehydesports) June 27, 2017
— Liv (@liviebruchal) June 27, 2017
— Chris Fischer NBC6 (@FischerNBC6) June 27, 2017
In 64 games with the Mets’ Low-A affiliate, Tebow hit .220 with three home runs and a team-worst 69 strikeouts. He also hit 14 doubles and drove in 23 runs.
Despite the relatively low production, at least one prominent writer — ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick — wondered what it would take to see Tebow on the Mets’ big league club when rosters expand from 25 to 40 players on Sept. 1.
“The Cincinnati Reds summoned Pete Rose Jr. for 16 at-bats in 1997, so it wouldn’t be unprecedented for the Mets to bring in Tebow for a late-season look-see,” Crasnick wrote. But the Mets might be pushing their luck. The fan base is already angry over this fiasco of a season, and Mets management would risk a major PR backlash and put Tebow in a difficult spot by promoting him to the big club this quickly after he has barely hit .200 in the minors. There are enough cynics who view Tebow’s foray into baseball as a cash grab and a circus without the Mets helping to feed the narrative.”
The Mets have sustained an abnormally high amount of injuries this season, but that probably won’t push Tebow any closer to promotion this season.
However, if the Mets decide to further this experiment after being eliminated from playoff contention in September, it could benefit them financially. If he’s done one thing so far in minor league stadiums, it’s sell tickets. As Crasnick points out, the average attendance for the Florida State League is 1,404 people per game. But Tebow has drawn no fewer than 2,645 people in any of his 64 appearances this season.