ESPN baseball writer Keith Law, who has spent a good chunk of his adult life scouting and evaluating minor league baseball players, finally made it out to the Arizona Fall League to get a good look at Tim Tebow. He was not very impressed with what he saw.
Law filed a short evaluation of Tebow’s skill set (available to ESPN Insider subscribers only), and this was the heart of it:
Tebow the baseball player is not a baseball player; he’s a washed-up quarterback who has size and nothing else. His swing is long, and he wields the bat like someone who hasn’t played the sport in more than a decade, which he hasn’t. He can’t catch up to 90 mph, which is well below the major league average for a fastball, and was cutting through fastballs in the zone on Wednesday night. He rolled over twice on fastballs, which is something you generally see professional hitters do only on off-speed stuff, and he showed below-average running speed. In left field, his routes look like those of a wide receiver, although he managed to eventually make his way around to a fly ball in left.
In short, there’s absolutely no baseball justification for Tebow to be here.
It’s important to note that Tebow’s presence in the AFL is much more consequential than him securing a spot on a Single A team, because the AFL exists specifically for the sake of prospect development and scouting. There’s not much harm done by giving Tebow a roster spot in the low minors, but even granting that there are other players there who aren’t serious prospects, his presence is a genuine disservice to the other players who came to the AFL to develop their skills against real talent. Striking out a schmuck like Tebow isn’t going to do anything for the pitchers who are trying to get better and catch the eyes of big-league scouts.
Law is certainly going out of his way to be vicious—or, say, direct—in this post, but I do think it’s important to call out Tebow’s presence in the Mets’ organization as the marketing ploy that it is. The easiest and most direct way to do that is to continually remind people that Tebow is in fact a dreadful baseball player.