Mets promote Tim Tebow to high Class A St. Lucie despite hitting just .222

SAN FRANCISCO – Tim Tebow has hit .222 with three home runs with Class-A Columbia. That’s good enough for a promotion apparently.

In what had to be a first, Mets GM Sandy Alderson announced that the team’s celebrity minor leaguer was being promoted from low-A Columbia to high Class A ball at St. Lucie of the Florida League.

“His on-base, his isolated power, his swing, exit velocity. A lot of different things have been much better in the last 15 games or something like that,” Alderson said. “On the other hand we recognize this is not a usual circumstance but we just felt everything involved it was about the right time for him to move to high-A ball.”

Tebow also has 23 RBI in 212 at-bats. He has 14 doubles and a triple. Tebow has struck out 69 times and walked 23.

“I think we’re pleased with the first half of the season. It’s not like he’s tearing up the league but at the same time all the indications are positive in terms of various things we like – chase rates, exit velocities, and other things,” Alderson said. “The bottom line is the average isn’t there but he’s improving.”

With that less-than-ringing endorsement, Alderson said that Tebow would report to the St. Lucie Mets on Tuesday.

While the Mets have insisted that signing Tebow had nothing to do with marketing, he has been a hit with minor league crowds at home and on the road. Last week the Charleston Riverdogs had to apologize for trolling Tebow during a series in their stadium.

The former Heisman Trophy winner and fizzled-out NFL quarterback decided to pursue his dream of playing baseball last year. The Mets signed him to an unusual minor-league deal that gave him a $100,000 signing bonus and allowed him to keep his schedule as a college football broadcaster.

Despite not excelling in low Class A ball, Tim Tebow earned a promotion from the Mets.

(Michael Pronzato/AP)

Alderson and the Mets said they were intrigued by his “winning,” and positive personality and liked his potential as a baseball player.

The 30-year old has been crushed by scouts for being a terrible outfielder with a bad arm and struggling with his swing.

“He looks the same,” one scout who saw him last week. “He looks the same as in spring training.”

And the Mets see that as a positive apparently.

“There was a chance he would completely bomb in spring training, that didn’t happen,” Alderson said. “His performance there justified assignment to a full-season club. He went to Columbia. I wouldn’t say he’s excelled there but I would say what he’s done there given all the circumstances justifies the promotion to St. Lucie.”

Somewhere in Las Vegas, top Mets prospect Amed Rosario, who is hitting .320 with seven homers and 48 RBI in 72 games, must be wondering what exactly he has to do to get a promotion.  

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